Sheffield Wednesday: Owls coach plays down League Cup chances

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY head coach Carlos Carvalhal insists Stoke City are the big favourites ahead of tomorrow’s Capital One Cup last-eight tie in the Potteries.

Owls goalkeeper Keiren Westwood misses out

The Owls head into the game in fine fettle, having been beaten just once in their last 14 matches and having knocked out top-flight duo Arsenal and Newcastle United from the cup.

But Carvalhal says that his side head into the game as firm underdogs.

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He said: “We know when we play against teams in the Premier League that they are the favourites.

“Stoke have a fantastic team and a very good coach. They play at home. They have a lot of players in the national team and are very strong.

“They have better conditions. They are playing at home and probably playing with a good energy.

“It will be a very hard for match for us. We have a small percentage of doing something and try to do our best.”

Carvalhal will be without seven players, including Keiren Westwood and Barry Bannan and says he will not take risks with another players who aren’t 100 per cent, mindful of his side’s hectic schedule over the next month.

He added: “We won’t risk players who are not 100 per cent. We don’t want to play a player and risk losing him for five to six weeks.

“We are missing seven players but we are confident the guys who will come in will do their best and give a good answer.

“It means we can sleep quiet.”