Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal has reiterated his belief in Joe Wildsmith ahead of the upcoming Capital One Cup fourth-round tie against Arsenal. The academy graduate and budding England U20 international is set to make only his sixth appearance of the season when the Gunners visit Hillsborough on 27 October, with first-choice goalkeeper Keiren Westwood to be left out entirely due to a niggling injury concern.
"We don't want to take any risks," the former Sporting and Besiktas boss, who succeeded Stuart Gray back in June, said in his pre-match press conference. "Our priority is the Championship. Keiren Westwood will not be in the squad. He is playing with a small pain. It can be a big pain if he doesn't stop some days. We don't want to lose a player for three to four weeks. We prefer he doesn't play the match and will be ready for Saturday.
"Keiren Westwood is a fantastic goalkeeper and Joe will be fantastic in the future. Because we trust him, he must play some games. He has done really well since the friendly matches. He has kept clean sheets against Bolton and Newcastle so we have absolute confidence in him. It is good for Joe and the club."
The Owls appear likely to make several changes for the visit of an Arsenal side that have now notched up four consecutive victories in all competitions following their hard-fought 2-1 win over Everton on 24 October, with key summer signing Fernando Forestieri ineligible to play as a result of having represented former club Watford earlier in the competition.
The Italian, previously a target for Championship rivals Leeds, has impressed since arriving for an undisclosed fee in August, scoring three times and netting the winning goal in a Yorkshire derby against Rotherham last time out.
Despite perhaps not fielding his strongest XI, though, Carvahal is still looking forward to a momentous occasion for play-off hopefuls Wednesday as they seek to follow-up respective victories over Mansfield, Oxford and Newcastle United in previous rounds.
"It will be a fantastic day for Sheffield Wednesday," he added. "We want these days to be normal in the future. Arsenal have played Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Everton and scored a lot of goals. Quite rightly they are favourites. The pressure is on Arsenal. It is expected that they will win by 99% of people watching the game. We have nothing to lose."