Sheffield Wednesday: Rested Owls skipper ready for Bluebirds reunion

Owls new signing Glenn Loovens

Owls new signing Glenn Loovens

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Glenn Loovens will be bidding to help Sheffield Wednesday record an eighth clean sheet when he returns to Cardiff City for the first time since departing the club six years ago.

The centre-half is set to be restored to the starting line-up, having been rested in the Owls’ crushing 7-0 loss to Manchester City in midweek.

Loovens, capped twice at international level by Holland, spent more than three years of his career at Cardiff. After a fruitful loan spell with the Bluebirds, Loovens was snapped up on a permanent basis by ex-Owls boss Dave Jones for £250,000 from Feyenoord in 2006.

He played a key role alongside Roger Johnson in central defence during Cardiff’s progress to the FA Cup Final two years later before moving to Celtic for around £2.5m.

Tomorrow Loovens will skipper the Owls as they look to get back to winning ways. He will replace Kamil Zayatte, who serves a one-match ban for his sending off at the Etihard Stadium, while Keiren Westwood, Jose Semedo and Atdhe Nuhiu are also pushing for first-team recalls.

Kieran Lee could be included in the match-day squad after shrugging off a long-standing groin problem.

Stuart Gray, the Owls head coach, said: “Cardiff have not made the best of starts and got rid of their manager.

“It will be interesting if they have a new manager in place but I can’t control what they do. All I can do is pick my players up and try and get them prepared for Saturday. It was unusual for us to concede so many at City but I want a reaction from our players. Hopefully that was a one off. We need to get back to keeping it tight at the back.”

Gray is convinced they will learn from their heavy defeat.

He said: “We’ve all got ambitions to want to get Sheffield Wednesday into the Premier League. City have world class players so it’s a great learning curve for them. My players will become better from the experience.

“It was disappointing to lose in the manner we did but I can take a lot of positives out of the first half.”