Sheffield Wednesday: Steven Fletcher or Atdhe Nuhiu for Leeds United derby?

Match-winner Steven Fletcher's goal exploits are helping him win his battle with fellow striker Atdhe Nuhiu ahead of Sheffield Wednesday's Yorkshire showdown with table-topping Leeds United.

Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 4:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 12:58 am
Steven Fletcher scores at Villa Park

Fletcher's well-placed header sealed a 2-1 win for the Owls at Aston Villa last Saturday and came only three days after he'd opened his account for the season at Nottingham Forest.

The 31-year-old has been jostling with Nuhiu to be first-choice centre-forward and manager Jos Luhukay dropped a broad hint about who will get the nod for the Hillsborough derby.

Steven Fletcher scores at Villa Park

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"I think for Steven it is fantastic he scored the winner," the boss said. "One goal from him was enough for victory. Hopefully he will score again on Friday."

After hitting the target as a substitute at Forest, Fletcher was in the starting 11 at Villa Park and justified Luhukay's faith as Wednesday, who have lost just once in six outings, climbed to 10th in the Championship.

Luhukay has tended to start with either Fletcher or Nuhiu but not both. Nuhiu played the full game in a 2-1 defeat at Forest before being dropped to the bench against Villa.

Victory sealed with a kiss

Fletcher didn't let his head drop after squandering several opportunities in the Midlands and was rewarded when he connected with Joey Pelupessy's 67th-minute cross to condemn Villa to their first home loss.

"I'm so happy for Steven," Luhukay added. "Before his goal on Saturday, he had two or three chances and I thought: 'He needs that goal because he has worked so hard.'

"He kept on going and scored the important second goal for us."

Nuhiu hasn't scored for his club since the opening day of the season at Wigan Athletic.

All smiles for Steven Fletcher and Tom Lees at the final whistle

After playing three games in a week, the Owls face Leeds, who lost in the league for the first time this season against Birmingham City last weekend, before a home test against third-placed West Brom 

"We now have two fantastic opponents," Luhukay said. "When we play a game like we did at Aston Villa, we must not be afraid. The players must have a lot more trust in themselves."

Leeds captain Liam Cooper has backed his side to produce an instant response against Wednesday.

"We will put it right,' said the centre-half. 'We will have a tough week (of training) and we have got a massive game on Friday.

'In this league, one thing you don't want to do is to be getting beat twice on the bounce. We love these games, as do the fans, and they will be with us. We are looking forward to it.'