Carlos Carvalhal has described his injury list at Sheffield Wednesday as the equivalent of Barcelona being without the likes of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique.
The Owls have been struck by injury to key players this season with Tom Lees, Kieran Lee, Gary Hooper, Fernando Forestieri, Ross Wallace and Sam Hutchinson all out for varying lengths of time.
Some of them are due to be back for Saturday’s trip to Oakwell to face South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, and Lees has already made a comeback, but Carvalhal admitted that it has been difficult to deal with an injury list that contains some of his most important players for large parts of the season.
“Our Gerard Pique is Tom Lees and we’ve missed him - he’s back now,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’ve also missed our Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta, who are Kieran Lee and Gary Hooper. After this we’ve also not had our Sergio Busquets, who is Sam Hutchinson, and Lionel Messi, who is Fernando Forestieri. Ross Wallace has also been out; he’s our Neymar.
“Imagine if Barcelona played without all those players? When you take all those players out of Barcelona, it’s still Barcelona, but not the same thing.”
Wednesday are likely to welcome Sam Hutchinson and Ross Wallace back into the squad for the short trip to Oakwell on Saturday as the Owls bid to turn around a dip in form that has seen them win just one of their last six games.
They are currently sixth in the Championship, a point ahead of Fulham.