Gray must decide how best to fill Loovens gap

Glenn Loovens.
Glenn Loovens.
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Sheffield Wednesday coach Stuart Gray has a selection headache ahead of his side’s trip to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

Club captain Glenn Loovens serves a one-match ban after picking up five bookings already this season, so misses the trip to The Macron Stadium.

So Gray must choose between Kamil Zayatte – who has been on international duty this week with Guniea – and new signing, Frenchman Claude Dielna to partner Tom Lees at centre-back.

Dielna – the 26-year-old impressed in an Under-21 game against Swansea City last Friday at Hillsborough – has yet to make his fulls Owls debut, while Zayatte made his first appearance of the season in the 1-0 Capital One Cup win at Burnley last month.

“It’s a one-on-one race whether to give him (Dielna) his debut or go with Kamil, subject to him coming back from international duty okay,” said Gray.

“We’ve also had a really good look at Claude working in the back four in training this week.

“He showed his versatility in the Development Squad game and it was an impressive performance.

“He’s got a great range of passing with that left foot, he’s very comfortable on the ball and a very talented boy which is why we were so keen to bring him in.”

The Owls have won all three of their away games this season – away in the Championship at Brighton and Middlesbrough, plus Burnley in the Cup – and will be hoping to overcome Loovens’s absence.

The back four of Loovens, Lees, Joe Mattock and Liam Palmer – playing in front of former Sunderland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood – have impressed at the start of the campaign, with the Owls conceding just four goals in their opening seven matches.

The Yorkshire derby between Bradford City and Sheffield United will be screened live on Sky.

The Bantams’ home game with the Blades on Saturday October 18 will kick-off at 5:15pm.

It will complete a hat-trick of television appearances for Phil Parkinson’s City team, whose game at Barnsley on Sunday October 12 is also being screened, while the cameras were present to capture their win over Leeds United in the Capital One Cup last month.

Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has signed a new four-year contract at the club.