Sheff Weds v Birmingham preview

Sheffield Wednesday’s new striker Rodri is eligible to play in

his club’s opening home fixture back in the Championship.

The Spaniard, 22, a season-long loan signing from Barcelona’s B

side, is expected to start life at Hillsborough on the bench, but

could make his debut.

Defender Anthony Gardner is expected to resume his partnership

alongside Miguel Llera in central defence despite undergoing a scan

on a hamstring problem. Mark Beevers is on stand-by should the

summer signing fail to make it.

Midfielder Chris Lines is still troubled by the groin injury

that kept him out of Saturday’s opening draw at Derby.

Manager Dave Jones must decide whether to retain summer signing

Nejc Pecnik up front in tandem with Chris O’Grady or recall either

Gary Madine or Chris Maguire.

The Owls are hoping to preserve their unbeaten record under

Jones, who has yet to taste defeat since replacing Gary Megson in

March, 14 wins and four draws ago.

Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic, meanwhile, has given Lee Clark

a major selection dilemma ahead of the game.

Zigic has not started either of the Blues’ two opening games,

but came off the bench to score a last-minute equaliser against

Charlton on Saturday.

The former Valencia striker did not appear to be in his

manager’s plans for this season, but his performance at the weekend

has given Clark food for thought.

Clark told Birmingham Mail: “He’s been patient and has been

nothing but exceptional in his application and approach.

“He’s scored a terrific goal, and he’s just given me a little

tap on the shoulder there to say ‘hey, I’m still around and I want

to be playing, not sitting on the bench’.”

Stephen Carr will also hope to be included in the squad on his

return from a thigh injury which has kept him out of the opening

two fixtures.