Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal lays down the gauntlet to Owls strikers

Lucas Joao is congratulated by Barry Bannan after his goal at Mansfield
Lucas Joao is congratulated by Barry Bannan after his goal at Mansfield
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Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal has challenged his strikers to give him a big selection dilemma this summer.

Carvalhal is likely to tinker with his forward line over the next four days with the Owls set to play three friendlies as part of their pre-season training camp in Portugal. Jordan Rhodes, Steven Fletcher, Fernando Forestieri, Sam Winnall, Atdhe Nuhiu and Lucas Joao could all be involved against Portimonense tonight.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

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Rhodes has claimed three goals in two pre-season outings and Joao bagged the winner at Mansfield Town last Saturday.

Joao will be looking to persuade Carvalhal he can be part of his long-term plans. After slipping down in the pecking order for a starting spot, Joao was farmed out on loan to Blackburn Rovers last January.

Another striker who has found it difficult to command a regular place under Carvalhal is Nuhiu. The Kosovo international only made two league starts in the 2016/17 campaign.

Carvalhal told The Star: “The strikers have an opportunity to show ambition and quality. Then, at the end of the window, we decide if to do something. It will depend on the players. They have an opportunity to show a capacity to help our team.”

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The Wednesday boss, who wants to sign two new centre-backs, insists “they have not decided anything” regarding letting any of his forwards leave Hillsborough.

“We have time to make decisions on the strikers,” stressed Carvalhal. “All the clubs want strikers.

“At this moment, we are thinking about giving chances to the players to show their abilities.”

Meanwhile, Rangers are expected to be backed by almost 10,000 fans for their friendly clash away to the Owls next week.

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