Steel City derby: Why Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal is so happy with his attacking options

Gary Hooper has scored four goals in his last four starts
Gary Hooper has scored four goals in his last four starts
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Wednesday chief Carlos Carvalhal admits he is delighted with his forward options heading into the Steel City derby.

Gary Hooper and Steven Fletcher are poised to spearhead the Owls’ attack when they lock horns with neighbours Sheffield United this Sunday.

Hooper and Fletcher have scored 17 goals between them in 16 starts together, including eight this season. Hooper is in a rich vein of form, having netted four goals in his last four starts.

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But Wednesday are spoilt for choice up front, with Lucas Joao not even included in the matchday squad against Cardiff City last weekend as Carvalhal named Jordan Rhodes and Atdhe Nuhiu on the bench.

He told The Star: “Gary [Hooper] and [Steven] Fletcher are doing very well but I’m happy with the players and options that we have.

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“I’m happy with Gary and Fletcher but also Lucas, Jordan and Nuhiu. They are all part of a strong group and the atmosphere is very good in the team.”

More than 33,000 fans are set to watch the Owls take on the Blades for the first time in over five years. Carvalhal expects it to be an “exciting” clash and is urging Wednesdayites to get right behind his players as they chase a third successive Hillsborough victory.

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The former Sporting Lisbon and Besiktas manager said: “Our fans will push my players a lot. My players deserve big support for how they are playing and I’m sure we will be with big support.”

*See Saturday’s edition of The Star for your free 16-page Steel City Derby pull-out, featuring interviews with Owls and Blades players and managers, past and present