This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Sheffield Wednesday could have gone top with a win in Saturday’s early kick-off, but it wasn’t to be as they battled out a 0-0 stalemate with their Yorkshire rivals at Hillsborough.
Owls boss Garry Monk made three changes, one of which he was forced into, as Keiren Westwood regained his number one spot in place of Cameron Dawson while Atdhe Nuhiu was chosen to partner Steven Fletcher in the attack, replacing the injured Massimo Luongo.
Wednesday regular Julian Borner pulled up in the warm-up, which saw Joey Pelupessy introduced with Sam Hutchinson dropping into defence.
And the enforced move paid surprising dividends with the 30-year-old having one of his best games of the season.
Both Wednesday and Leeds United had golden chances to break the deadlock.
First, Fletcher cannoned an effort off the crossbar before the visiting Ezgjan Alioski saw a header rebound off the post late on.
If the Owls conceded a goal that deep into the match, it would have been hard to take considering how well Hutchinson played despite being unexpectedly called into a different role.
Per SofaScore, the former Chelsea man recorded eight clearances, three interceptions, and two tackles – but what was most damning of all was him not picking up a yellow card.
That comes as quite a surprise as Hutchinson has already served a one-game ban for picking up five yellows this season, and it was only the second time in seven matches where he has failed to receive a booking.
Maybe dropping into defence has allowed him to think with his head a little bit more, which is only going to make him more of an asset going forward.
The problem is, Wednesday’s defence has been solid under the 40-year-old having conceded just four goals, and that is without skipper Tom Lees being involved either.
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If Borner faces a lengthy time on the sidelines, then Hutchinson can be the man to fill his void temporarily.
Per Transfermarkt’s recorded matches, he has played 23 of his 142 Owls appearances at centre-back – only losing five Championship games as well as picking up just four of his 54 bookings there.
It could well be his better position.