Owls stars wait on Jones verdict

Difficult call: Danny Batth and Miguel Llera are vying for one centre-back spot at Wednesday

Difficult call: Danny Batth and Miguel Llera are vying for one centre-back spot at Wednesday

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday manager Dave Jones faces a selection dilemma over who to pair with skipper Rob Jones at centre-half for the visit of Preston North End.

Competition for places is hotting up at Hillsborough as Jones’ men aim to pip Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town to the second automatic promotion place in League One.

Difficult call: Danny Batth and Miguel Llera are vying for one centre-back spot at Wednesday

Difficult call: Danny Batth and Miguel Llera are vying for one centre-back spot at Wednesday

Miguel Llera stepped in for the injured Danny Batth at Leyton Orient and the Spaniard shone in the Owls’ 1-0 triumph, their fourth victory in five matches since Jones officially succeeded Gary Megson at the helm.

Batth, one of the club’s most consistent performers this season, is poised to shake off a hamstring niggle and be fit for first-team duty for the Sky TV showdown with the Lilywhites who are in 15th position.

Although naturally left-footed, Llera filled in for Batth, who had not missed a league match until Saturday, at right-side centre-back. It promises to be a tough call for Jones over who to leave out.

The Owls chief made it clear that Batth’s problem was nothing serious, saying: “If I’d said to Danny ‘you can play’, he would have played. He just felt a tight hamstring.

“When you’ve got 20 players, good players, what’s the point (in taking risks), because we still have a lot of games to play in a short space of time and I want everybody fit.”

Julian Bennett and Mike Jones could also feature if Jones decides to freshen things up again.