Sheffield Wednesday: Loovens and Hutchinson return ahead of crunch Preston tie

Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal was happy to welcome back key duo Glenn Loovens and Sam Hutchinson ahead of Saturday's match against Preston North End.

Sam Hutchinson and Glenn Loovens.

Captain Loovens (groin) and Hutchinson (knee) have returned to first-team training after recovering from their respective injuries.

The 26-year-old Hutchinson was close to being available for the 4-0 victory against Brentford last Saturday, but failed a late fitness test, while Loovens has been unavailable since the 1-1 draw with Burnley on February 2.

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However, Joe Wildsmith (back) remains absent.

Carvalhal said: “Everyone is training now which is good news. We don’t have any new problems. We are with the full energy.

“It is just Joe Wildsmith who is missing.”

Like Wednesday, Preston have won their previous two games in the Championship, against Huddersfield Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers. To an extent, they have belied pre-season expectations and are currently 11th, comfortably sat in mid-table.

Carvalhal is not expecting an easy match.

“It will be a very tough game against a team who have won five out of their last eight games,” he said.

“Preston are in a very good moment.

“They have grown up in the competition so we expect a very tough game.

“We must be 100 per cent and that goes for the coaches, the players and the fans. We must all push the boat in the same direction.

“When we do this, we are strong. If we play in a strong environment, we have more chances of winning the three points. We must run and fight a lot to bring something home from Preston.”