Sheffield Wednesday are still likely to be without the services of Massimo Luongo this evening as the Owls squad look to bounce back from two successive league defeats…
Owls caretaker boss Neil Thompson had ruled the 28-year-old ahead of their loss to relegation rivals Birmingham City on Saturday and now reliable Yorkshire Live reporter Dom Howson claims the midfielder is unlikely to be involved tonight.
‘Influential midfielder Massimo Luongo (thigh) and winger Andre Green (Achilles) are unlikely to be involved,’ wrote Howson.
It is thought that he could return at the weekend, in time to face Luton Town, instead.
When he has played, Luongo has been decent, ranking fifth for average WhoScored rating (6.65) among Owls players with ten or more starts.
Similarly, no Wednesday star is averaging as many tackles as the industrious central midfielder, who currently sits on 3.1 tackles per 90 minutes at a success rate of 66%, via WhoScored.
It leaves Thompson with a tricky dilemma to solve – he could revert back to a three-man defence, of course, but following the suspension to Liam Shaw, he will need to make changes in the middle either way.
Luongo would have been a nice option to have, as evident above, his work-rate is second to none, so it will come down to either Joey Pelupessy or Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown.
The Dutchman hasn’t started any of the Owls’ last three league games, which is understandable given his paltry average WhoScored rating of 6.37, which sees him sit 19th overall – or second-bottom for those starting 12 or more matches this term.
Pelupessy hasn’t managed above a 6.5 rating more than once in his last seven appearances, in which he’s been dribbled past eight times and has committed nine fouls.
Then there’s the conundrum over Brown, who has been restricted to just three starts all term and only 57 minutes since November. He has not been involved in any of their last six league games either, per Transfermarkt.
You can see why Luongo’s persistent absence is bad news for Thompson, though he should be used to it by now considering the length of time the Aussie maestro has been on the treatment table this season.
No Shaw and no Pelupessy, it’s not looking good for the Owls as they face the promotion-chasing Bees tonight.