Championship

Sheffield Wednesday: Fernando Forestieri available for Cardiff match, Tom Lees out

Sheffield Wednesday: Fernando Forestieri available for Cardiff match, Tom Lees out

Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk has confirmed that Fernando Forestieri is in contention (per the club’s official Twitter feed) to feature in their next Championship fixture against Cardiff City.

However, the former Birmingham City and Leeds United boss ruled out a return for defender Tom Lees.

Forestieri has been unavailable for the Owls for their last six matches in league and cup due to suspension.

The former Watford man was given a six-game ban by the Football Association in September for the use of racist language in a pre-season friendly against Mansfield Town back in 2018 (via Sheffield Star).

However, he served the last of those matches as Wednesday beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 before the international break. He has since got some minutes under his belt for the under-23’s, scoring a goal in the process and Monk has confirmed that he is available to play in south Wales.

On Forestieri’s availability, Monk told Sheffield Wednesday’s official Twitter account: “He’s trained well, worked hard and now he’s available. Fernando can be devastating at this level. The next step is for him to take his opportunities when they come.”

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Lees, who has been ruled out once again.

The former Leeds United defender has not featured since the Owls fixture against Preston North End back in August, sustaining a hamstring injury in the warm-up ahead of their game against QPR.

Prior to the international break, it was hoped that Lees could be involved against Cardiff, but Monk says that he isn’t quite ready yet.

In his press conference speaking about the defender, he said: “The game is probably too soon for Tom Lees, he needs a few more training sessions to get fully integrated but he’s a fit lad.”

There is no doubt that having Forestieri back is a major boost for the Owls. He is a quality player at Championship level and has netted double figures twice already in his time at Hillsborough (via Transfermarkt).

He may have been quiet last season, scoring just six times in 25 appearances, but Wednesday as a team were poor in 2018/19. They are performing much better this term and he will surely only benefit from that.

It is unfortunate that Lees won’t make it, but there is little point in rushing him back and making his injury worse.

Dominic Iorfa has ably deputised alongside Julian Borner, helping Wednesday to three wins and a draw in their last five Championship fixtures and keeping two clean sheets in the process (via WhoScored).

Sheffield Wednesday fans, how happy are you to see Fernando Forestieri back in contention? And would you start him against Cardiff City? Let us know what you think in the comments below…

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