Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal ponders his midfield options ahead of promotion decider

Sam Hutchinson
Sam Hutchinson

Owls chief Carlos Carvalhal faces a tricky midfield selection dilemma heading into their Championship Play-Off final against Hull City.

The identity of Kieran Lee’s midfield partner is the big talking point as Wednesday prepare for their first trip to Wembley in 23 years.

Alex Lopez

Alex Lopez

Despite starting both legs of their semi-final win over Brighton and Hove Albion, Alex Lopez was substituted at half-time in the second leg. Sam Hutchinson caught the eye after replacing the Spaniard.

Hutchinson, making his first appearance in nearly two months following a bout of glandular fever, gave the Owls’ midfield extra bite as Carvalhal’s men secured a 1-1 draw to book their place in the showpiece fixture.

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But it promises to be a difficult decision for Carvalhal, with Lopez having excelled in recent months.

Lopez, who is set to go back to parent club Celta Vigo following Saturday’s clash, is unsure where his long-term future lies.

“I am not thinking about that. Right now I am focused on May 28 [the final date] and then we will see,” said Lopez, who has three years left on his Celta contract. “I came here with the plan to spend a year on loan and enjoy a new experience that would help me mature as a footballer and as a person, in order to come back a better player to Celta. The only thing I can say is this has been a great experience, I am so happy.”

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