Four Sheffield Wednesday players with big points to prove against Carlos Carvalhal's Swansea City

Carlos Carvalhal manager

Carvalhal brings his Swansea City side to Sheffield Wednesday a week on Saturday.

Carlos Carvalhal manager

Less than two months after leaving Sheffield Wednesday by mutual consent, Carlos Carvalhal returns to Hillsborough next week as manager of Swansea City.

Things have begun well for Carvalhal in Wales, with five wins arriving in his first 10 matches, while his Owls successor Jos Luhukay has steadied a ship which was rapidly taking on water in the final weeks of the Portuguese's reign.

In that time, Luhukay, arms undoubtedly twisted by an injury crisis at Wednesday, has handed fresh opportunities - and bestowed renewed confidence - to a handful of players his predecessor appeared to have cast aside.

And it is the following four Owls stars who perhaps have the biggest points to prove to Carvalhal, upon his return to Sheffield 6 with Swansea...

Marco Matias

Chris Gunter of Reading and Marco Matias of Sheffield Wednesday during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Sheffield Wednesday and Reading on January 26, 2018 in Sheffield,...

One of Carvalhal's early recruits at Wednesday - albeit not necessarily hand-picked by his fellow Portuguese - Matias burst onto the scene with two goals in five league appearances, including one particularly memorable one at Elland Road, but soon lost his place to a combination of Fernando Forestieri and injury. Carvalhal started him four times thereafter, although the 28-year-old has impressed in recent weeks - especially in the FA Cup. 

Lucas Joao

Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Brentford at Hillsborough Stadium on February 13, 2016 in...

Matias' teammate at Nacional soon followed him to Hillsborough and made a similarly bright start - scoring seven goals before Christmas 2015. Again it was a combination of new arrivals - in Joao's case; Gary Hooper, Steven Fletcher, Sam Winnall and Jordan Rhodes - and injury which cost the striker his place. After failing to get back into his side, Carvalhal loaned the 24-year-old to Blackburn Rovers for the second half of last season, and only started him once upon his return. Joao has, however, made the matchday 11 on five occasions since his old boss's exit and found the net twice.

Frederico Venancio

Frederico Venâncio of Sheffield Wednesday wins a header during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Sheffield Wednesday and Carlisle United at Hillsborough on January 16,...

Another Portuguese perhaps surprisingly overlooked by his countryman, Venancio failed to make a single appearance for Wednesday until Carvalhal's final game in charge - four months after the defender's arrival from Vitoria Setubal. Barring one ghastly error in Saturday's defeat against Birmingham City, however, Venancio's displays since then have been largely without flaw.

Liam Palmer

DERBY, ENGLAND- October 29: Johnny Russell of Derby County and Liam Palmer of Sheffield Wednesday in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Sheffield...

Palmer is arguably Wednesday's biggest post-Carvalhal success story and serves as proof his old boss was not just weirdly racist towards his own people. While under Carvalhal, most of the Worksop native's appearances came whenever Jack Hunt was either injured or needed resting. That is certainly how Palmer began his most recent run of games - only this time the boyhood Owls fan is keeping his fit-again teammate out of the side.

Can Sheffield Wednesday get a result against Carvalhal's Swansea City?

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