Wednesday Vs Preston: Team new & preview
Sheffield Wednesday host Preston North End at Hillsborough on Friday afternoon as they aim to pick up the points that will move them towards Championship safety.
Owls boss Jos Luhukay has given positive news ahead of the fixture by confirming that Fernando Forestieri will be in the squad. The diminutive forward has been out since September but played for the academy team on Monday and although he is unlikely to start against Preston having him available will give the club a big boost. Centre-back Joost Van Aken could also return to the squad after a lengthy spell on the sidelines while Barry Bannan and Sam Hutchinson will be hoping to feature in midfield after returning to the side at Leeds two weeks ago. Atdhe Nuhiu will be hoping to pick up where he left off before the international break having bagged a brace in the win at Elland Road.
The Owls remain without a host of injured players including Gary Hooper, Kieran Lee, Steven Fletcher, Ross Wallace, Keiren Westwood and Sean Clare.
Preston manager Alex Neill is close having a fully-fit squad available for the trip over the Pennines. Goalkeeper Declan Rudd is likely to return after missing their recent victory at Sunderland to see the birth of his child. Defender Greg Cunningham is the only doubt due to a hamstring injury and he will have his fitness tested ahead of the game. In-form striker Sean Maguire returned from international duty with the Republic of Ireland unscathed and will be eager to keep his fine scoring streak going.
Wednesday are currently in 17th place, 8 points above the relegation zone with 8 games to go. Preston are just 2 points off a top 6 spot. The Owls have beaten North End in each of their last 3 encounters at Hillsborough but lost 1-0 at Deepdale on the opening day of the season with a performance that sadly set the tone for much of what has followed since.