Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce ponders Bristol City changes

Steve Bruce, the Owls boss, is likely to field a much-changed side when they welcome play-off chasing Bristol City to Hillsborough tomorrow.

By dom.howson1
Sunday, 21 April, 2019, 05:00

Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (knee) is a big injury concern, meaning Cameron Dawson may deputise for the second match running.

Bruce will almost certainly have to make a change in midfield as Sam Hutchinson sustained a hamstring problem in their Good Friday draw against Championship table-toppers Norwich City. Barry Bannan, a second half substitute at Carrow Road, is poised to return. Josh Onomah and Joey Pelupessy look set to compete for the other central midfield spot.

Achraf Lazaar and Gary Hooper are also pushing for places. Left-back Lazaar was not risked versus Norwich because of a minor shoulder injury while Hooper, who is fit-again following a lengthy injury lay-off, was rested.

On Hooper, Bruce said: "I knew that I could keep him fresh for Monday. It would be impossible for him to take part in two games in a couple of days with the problems he has had so we decided to leave him at home.

"He will give a freshness to the team and I think that is going to be important."

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Bruce has confirmed the Owls will be without the services of Adam Reach (Achilles) and Rolando Aarons (ankle) when they take on the seventh-placed Robins. Lee Johnson's side dropped out of the play-offs after being held at home to struggling Reading. It means they trail Middlesbrough, who currently occupy sixth position, by a point but they do have a game in hand.

"Bristol City have had a good season," said Bruce. "We know it will be a difficult game.

"They are a good side. They have been there or thereabouts all season so we know what to expect. It will be a typical Championship game.

"We want to finish the season strongly. If we had won against Norwich, we would have gone up to ninth with Bristol City to play. There could have been a little bit of spice to it but it wasn't meant to be.

Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan is in line to face Bristol City

"We have to get ourselves rested. Hopefully we will have a bit of freshness about us to take them on. If we do our jobs properly, then we will not be far short again."