Sheffield Wednesday will look to get back to winning ways in the league on Saturday and they have a good chance to do so as they visit second-from-bottom Barnsley.
Garry Monk has struggled to implement consistency into the Owls’ game since arriving in August, but he will be hopeful that the arrivals of Connor Wickham, Josh Windass and Alessio Da Cruz will be able to turn things around, starting this weekend. Ahead of the encounter, the manager has provided an update (posted on the club’s official Twitter feed) on two players who could make a difference for Wednesday – Kieran Lee and Massimo Luongo.
The former is said to be fit and raring to go but the Australian is a doubt for the match, with Monk rating his chances of playing at 50-50, which means he may not be risked.
That is certainly a blow for the South Yorkshire outfit. They have been without the midfielder since his sending off against Blackburn, and the team has missed his presence ever since that moment – losing 5-0 to Rovers. That was followed up by another defeat against Wigan and a goalless draw with Millwall, and Monk will be determined he sees a repeat of the win against QPR, which is their only victory in the previous four matches.
To underline the importance of Luongo, the Owls have lost just four of the 18 matches in which the 27-year-old has appeared, so it is clear that he makes the team better when he does appear.
It is hardly surprising he has such a significant influence on the team and results. After all, there was a reason why Ian Holloway once suggested he could play for Barcelona or Manchester City.
A return of 1.6 tackles per league game shows why he has been imperative at times, and if he can return to fitness soon it could help Wednesday find a bit of consistency, though the game against the Tykes may come too soon.
What do you think Owls’ fans, had Luongo been key this season and has he been missed over the last few games?
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