Dom Howson’s Sheffield Wednesday column: The selection dilemma facing Sheffield Wednesday caretaker boss Steve Agnew ahead of their FA Cup clash with Chelsea

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As the Owls bid to cause a cup shock against Premier League opposition this weekend, caretaker manager Steve Agnew will have to rejig his defence.

Central half Michael Hector is ineligible to play against his parent club Chelsea. 

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Cameron Dawson

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Cameron Dawson

Although Wednesday have a number of defensive options at their disposal, Agnew is likely to turn to Jordan Thorniley, an unused substitute in Saturday's victory over Wigan Athletic, to plug the gap.

We know Wednesday will field a strong side on Sunday. Agnew says they will for go for it in west London.

But who should Agnew play in goal? It is a choice between youth and experience.

Cameron Dawson played in the last round and put in flawless performance against Luton Town. Without the academy graduate's heroics in between the sticks in the replay at Kenilworth Road, Wednesday could easily have bowed out of the competition. Dawson was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers, pulling off a string of outstanding saves.

Sheffield Wednesday forward targets Chelsea FA Cup shock

So does Agnew recall Dawson for the trip to Stamford Bridge or play Keiren Westwood? Westwood, frozen out by previous manager Jos Luhukay, is in good form, having racked up three clean sheets in five outings since returning to the first-team fold. The 34-year-old is a vocal figure and has commanded his penalty area superbly. He has unquestionably played a key role in their defensive improvement.

“Keiren has been one of the best goalkeepers in the league for a number of years now,” said Hector. “Keiren coming in, obviously he is more experienced, a fans’ favourite. He shouts a lot behind me - which is not nice - but sometimes you need it.”

We know Westwood enjoys the big stage (remember the 2016 Championship play-off final?). He is a big game player.

But despite Westwood’s impressive contribution in the Owls’ revival, there is no guarantee he will be involved in the capital. In recent years, Wednesday have usually played their back up shot-stopper in the cup competitions. Will they buck the trend this weekend?

The final decision rests with Agnew but I would like to see Dawson start. After a topsy-turvy season, Dawson has not sulked since losing the No 1 spot to Westwood. He has shown a good attitude and character to bounce back from that disappointment.

Dawson said: “I have been quite fortunate to play in many games in the first half of the season and that for me is the main thing. I want to play as many games as possible and make sure I’m available for every single game to be selec ted and then it’s up to the people that select.”