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Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal

Scouting Report - Sheffield Wednesday

 Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Arsène Wenger's side travel to Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. To find out more, we asked tactical expert Michael Cox.

MICHAEL COX

It’s been more 15 years since Arsenal last faced Sheffield Wednesday, when goals from Lee Dixon, Silvinho and Thierry Henry earned a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Highbury.

Today, the Owls are mid-table in the Championship and eight games unbeaten in all competitions. Their 1-0 victory at Newcastle in the Capital One Cup third round, meanwhile, shows they’re capable of causing big sides problems.

"The Owls are likely to give Arsenal a classic lower-league test - they’ve committed the most fouls in the Championship this season"

Michael Cox

Carlos Carvalhal is a highly-rated coach, and brings great experience from taking charge of Sporting Lisbon and Besiktas. He’s an intelligent tactician and gets his side playing well-organised football, although Sheffield Wednesday haven’t been particularly attack-minded this season - they rarely dominate possession, and have attempted the fewest shots in the Championship.

Carvalhal has indicated he will use his reserve goalkeeper, 19-year-old Joe Wildsmith, in what will be the England Under-20 international’s biggest game of his career so far.

The defence is fairly settled. The highly-rated Tom Lees will play alongside experienced former Dutch international Glenn Loovens, with the centre-backs likely to play deep and prevent Arsenal finding space in behind. Full-back duo Jack Hunt and Daniel Pudil are both loanees from Premier League clubs, Crystal Palace and Watford respectively.

Carvalhal has often played two up front this season, although a more cautious 4-2-3-1 could be the approach here. Either way, former Chelsea youth product Sam Hutchinson will anchor the midfield - he’s the Championship’s most-booked player this season - and his defensive-minded nature allows the energetic Kieran Lee to push forward into attack.

On the right, Ross Wallace is a classic winger and the side’s top assister this season, while on the left Barry Bannan prefers to drift inside and hit ambitious passes.

Up front, Carvalhal has recently been using his powerful compatriot Lucas Joao alongside the diminutive Argentine Fernando Forestieri - although the on-loan Watford forward is cup-tied. Wednesday are struggling to find a regular goalscorer, though.

The Owls are likely to give Arsenal a classic lower-league test - they’ve committed the most fouls in the Championship this season, and have scored one-third of their goals from set-pieces.

 

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