The selection headaches facing Sheffield Wednesday and Garry Monk ahead of Hull City clash
The cut and thrust of a devilish festive fixture flurry has seen Sheffield Wednesday’s squad depleted heading into their New Year’s Day clash with fellow play-off contenders Hull City.
Steven Fletcher remains a maybe following his virus, as does Massimo Luongo, who’s head clash in the defeat at Stoke left him ‘groggy’ and unable to take part in the clash with Cardiff.
Fernando Forestieri is unlikely to feature, as is Liam Palmer, who’s ankle injury sustained in the ‘reckless’ tackle of Cardiff’s Junior Hoilett will be assessed over the coming days. Keiren Westwood’s shoulder injury rumbles on.
Quite where that concoction leaves the Owls remains to be seen, of course.
In Fletcher’s absence Sam Winnall worked hard up front with Adam Reach in behind but failed to provide much in the way of danger to a packed Cardiff defence that dug deep and never looked like conceding in a stalemate second half.
If Reach’s presence closer to the striker is something Monk wants to persevere with and Fletcher does miss out, would it make more sense to bring back Nuhiu, a much more prominent physical presence, despite the Kosovan’s lethargic performance at Stoke?
Monk could prefer a return to a more conventional 4-4-2, with Jordan Rhodes dropped back into the side alongside either Winnall or Nuhiu.
This could free up Reach to drop back onto the wing with Jacob Murphy shifted over the left, allowing Kadeem Harris – a near ever-present this season – the opportunity to rest.
Sam Hutchinson put in a shift in the middle of midfield but is fresh off a suspension-enforced mini-break and shouldn’t require resting, leaving Monk free to pick him alongside Barry Bannan unless he feels Kieran Lee can inject energy.
Further back there will be a question mark over the right-back berth given Palmer’s likely absence.
Moses Odubajo was entrusted with the shirt throughout the Scottish international’s three-match suspension at the start of this month but failed to impress and with fan favourite Julian Börner having impressed off the bench at centre-half, the temptation may be there to push Dominic Iorfa across as a stop-gap.
There is certainly plenty of thinking to be done for Garry Monk over the coming days.