Andy Hinchcliffe names three Sheffield Wednesday players Brighton should be wary of, and discusses Owls' play-off hopes

Sheffield Wednesday

The two sides meet in the first-leg of their Championship play-off semi-final this weekend.

Andy Hinchcliffe has named Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper and Kieran Lee as the key men for Sheffield Wednesday ahead of the first leg of their play-off semi-final with Brighton, and suggested that the Owls have the ability to at least reach the final, the Sheffield Star reports.

Carlos Carvalhal's men finished the regular season sixth in the Championship, while the Seagulls were only denied automatic promotion on the final day of the campaign. Nevertheless, Hinchcliffe - who spent four years at Hillsborough during his playing days - suggested that the trio have the ability to practically kill the tie off after the first leg.

"If I were them [Brighton], I would be very worried about Fernando Forestieri and Gary Hooper and what they can produce," he told the Star.

"Wednesday have a solid defence and got a lot of creativity in their side. Kieran Lee is another player I have admired for a very long time.

"If those guys have their day, Wednesday can score two or three goals and take the tie away from Brighton."

When asked about how far Wednesday could go in their quest to reach the Premier League, the retired defender suggested that Carvalhal's decision to rotate his squad on the final day could have improved their chances immensely.

"I think Wednesday have got a fantastic chance of at least making the final. Wednesday didn't play a full side against Wolves in preparation for these two games so will be fresh," he added.

The two strikers have contributed 28 goals between them this season with Forestieri two clear of Hooper with 15 strikes to his name.

Meanwhile, Lee's importance to the side is perhaps most evident in the fact that he appears to have been exempt from Carvalhal's rotation policy. He is the only member of the squad that has started 40 games this season, and has in fact, missed just three all year. 

The support he provides the defence, as well as the number of problems that the front two create will give Owls supporters plenty of confidence that they can spring a surprise in the first leg and take one giant step towards the final.

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