Two trialists and a big name return? - Three things to watch out for as Sheffield Wednesday head to Port Vale for final preseason runout
Sheffield Wednesday face Port Vale in their final preseason friendly tomorrow night, and there’s plenty to look out for as Darren Moore gets one last chance to have a tinker…
The Owls take on Vale at 7.30pm on Tuesday evening, and Moore will be desperate to try and end on a high following defeats to Barnsley and West Bromwich Albion in their last two games.
Wednesday were meant to face Wrexham in a penultimate friendly fixture over the weekend, but a COVID-19 situation for the Red Dragons meant that that game had to be called off.
Now, with the Owls’ first competitive fixture – against Huddersfield Town in the Carabao Cup – only a week away, Moore has some major decisions to make about how he wants his side to line up when things get serious.
With that in mind, there’s a few things to keep a look out for at Vale Park…
Moore has tinkered with his a fair bit over the course of preseason so far, but there are three formations that seem to be at the forefront of his mind based on what we’ve seen – and all are likely to be used at varying points across the campaign.
Up to now it’s been 4-2-3-1, 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 that have been most utilised by the Owls boss has he tries out different partnerships and systems in the build-up to the 2021/22 season, and it’s likely that the friendly against Vale will give a good indication of how he plans to start his first competitive fixtures.
Will he give all four new signings a start? Will Jack Hunt make his first appearance back in a Wednesday shirt following what is ultimately a bit of a shock return to Hillsborough given the interest in him from the Championship… We’ll have to see.
The Owls have an impressive spine in their team with a good mix of youth and experience now, but with Josh Windass injured (we still don’t know how long for), they’re still missing a goalscorer and there isn’t too much depth there to cater for other injuries and potential departures.
An XI that includes the likes of Dominic Iorfa, Sam Hutchinson, Jack Hunt, Liam Palmer, Massimo Luongo, Barry Bannan, Dennis Adeniran, Mide Shodipo, Andre Green and Callum Paterson is pretty exciting – it’ll be interesting to see how many get into the starting XI tomorrow night.
There are expected to be two trialists, and fans will get to have a look at them for the first time since they came into the setup at Wednesday.
Moore brought 19-year-old Sylvester Jasper from Fulham and Chelsea’s 21-year-old Tariq Uwakwe in on a trial basis as he sought to have a closer look at the duo, and indications are that they’ll be present at Vale Park in this week’s encounter.
A decision was due to be made after facing Wrexham on Saturday, but with that game cancelled they’re set to be given a chance to prove their worth one last time as they eye potential moves to S6.
Tuesday night could well be make or break for the young pair – so they’ll be keen to impress if given the chance.