Many would have been hoping that Steve Bruce would have been able to turn things around at Sheffield Wednesday when he was appointed, but who could have predicted exactly what has happened at Hillsborough?!
The Owls are unbeaten in ten of their last 11 Championship matches under Bruce, which has seen the club keep seven clean sheets in that time, however, their chances of coming away with the points against Stoke City may have taken a blow.
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According to the club’s official website, Steven Fletcher is a major doubt for the trip and is unlikely to feature.
The Scotland international picked up a groin injury in the game against Blackburn Rovers prior to the international break and he has failed to make a recovery and subsequently meant he missed his national team’s matches in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Bruce will have other options available to him though, with the likes of Fernando Forestieri (hamstring) and Lucas Joao (knee) both set to make returns.
Whilst Stoke are in a good run of form themselves, Wednesday must be feeling confident about their chances and will know obtaining three points will be more important than ever on Saturday afternoon.
It is truly remarkable what Bruce has managed to achieve at Wednesday since taking over and the fact that they are in the race for a play-off spot should really speak volumes.
Fletcher has been instrumental for Bruce and Sheffield Wednesday following the manager’s arrival, having netted five during that time, including one in back-to-back games.
The 31-year-old has come on leaps and bounds in the second half of the season as well, as he struggled to make a significant impact during Jos Luhukay’s tenure at Hillsborough.
However, having both Joao and Forestieri available could ease the blow as both strikers will be looking to show that they deserve a place in the first-team and can make an impression with their performances. Both have blown hot and cold over the current campaign, but they will need to be at their very best if they are to keep Fletcher out of the side.
Sheffield Wednesday fans, what do you make of Fletcher’s likely absence? Does it come as a blow to the club’s chances of winning against Stoke? Join in with the discussion below by sharing your thoughts with us.
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