Joe Wildsmith gets the nod: Predicting Sheffield Wednesday's team to face Wigan Athletic

Jos Luhukay, Manager of Sheffield Wednesday looks on prior to the The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round between Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City at Hillsborough on February 17, 2018 in...

Sheffield Wednesday begin the 2018-19 season at Wigan Athletic.

Jos Luhukay, Manager of Sheffield Wednesday looks on prior to the The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round between Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City at Hillsborough on February 17, 2018 in...

Sheffield Wednesday return to league action at Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

It's three months since the Owls ended a wretched 2017-18 campaign on a high, beating Norwich City 5-1 at Hillsborough to make it six wins out of nine for Jos Luhukay's improving side.

 

But that early-summer optimism continues to erode, after the club's failure to bring in a single new signing - amid rumours of an EFL transfer embargo - a racism allegation and now the decision not to renew the BBC's contract to broadcast Wednesday matches live on local radio - although you can still listen via club channels at a cost of nearly £5 a month.

Whether any of the above will filter down to pitch level remains to be seen, although the Owls' squad does appear to have maintained high spirits despite a mixed pre-season campaign.

A more streamlined squad has probably aided matters, with seven players who appeared last season having headed out of Hillsborough over the course of the summer.

Kieran Lee of Sheffield Wednesday shoots at goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday at Macron Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bolton,...

Yet, with only Gary Hooper, Kieran Lee (pictured) and Almen Abdi absent for the trip across the Pennines, Luhukay still has more of his squad to work with than at most points throughout his seven-month reign.

Speaking on Thursday, the Dutchman gave little away regarding Saturday's starting line-up, including the identity of his new first-choice goalkeeper and permanent captain.

So here's an educated guess at how Sheffield Wednesday could look against Wigan, with no changes from last week's friendly defeat to Villarreal - although do not be surprised to see Cameron Dawson and Lucas Joao recalled:

SWFC

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