Another week, another massive match for Wednesday as the League One promotion chase edges closer to its conclusion.
This time results could be crucial – the Owls go into their penultimate match of the season at Brentford a point behind second-placed Sheffield United. A win will be required to take the race for the top two into the final weekend. Defeat, coupled with victory for the Blades, would see the Owls having to settle for the play-offs.
Brentford, too, are under pressure to get three points from the match, The Bees sit five points adrift of the top-six and only a win will do to keep any hopes of making the play-offs alive.
It’s going to be a cracker of a match at Griffin Park, but who’ll come out smiling?
Owls boss Dave Jones told the Sheffield Star:
“Being a point ahead is the best position because it`s in your hands,” he said.
“But there is pressure on both clubs, really.
“There is also pressure on the teams underneath us fighting for a play-off spot.
“We`re playing one of those (Brentford). We have a tough game as much as Sheffield United have. I think people are looking at them faltering (against Stevenage) and it`s an automatic win for us; it`s not. We have a tough one.”
“I hope our players thrive on the pressure. I`d rather have the pressure at the top of the table than at the other end.’
Brentford Team News:
There’s pressure on Wednesday for the top-two, but only a win will do Brentford as they look to keep their hopes of sneaking into the League One play-offs alive.
The Bees sit five points off the top-six after their hopes took a knock last weekend with a 2-1 defeat against rivals Stevenage, with Brentford having the misfortune of twice missing from the penalty spot.
Wednesday striker Clinton Morrison is on-loan at Griffin Park but he won’t be eligible to feature against his parent club.
Player to watch: Sam Saunders
Saunders gave Wednesday all kinds of problems in the same game last season, which ultimately saw the Bees collect three points and end the Owls’ impressive start to the season. He’ll be the biggest threat again this time and has netted 12 goals so far this term.
Wednesday Team News:
Michail Antonio, last week’s Hillsborough hero, should be fit and available to start despite suffering a shoulder injury in the last-gasp 2-1 win over Carlisle United last weekend.
The on-loan Reading man has been having treatment on the injury to make sure he’s ready for the trip to London, and he’s expected to get the green light to start.
But defender Reda Johnson will still be sidelined through injury, meaning Mark Beevers is likely to continue in his place at left-back.
Boss Dave Jones could go for the same starting eleven that defeated Carlisle last time out, although striker Ryan Lowe will be pushing for a recall to the starting eleven and winger Keith Treacy will also no doubt be putting his hand up for a start after extending his loan deal from Burnley.
Player to watch: Jose Semedo
Wednesday’s midfield will be key this weekend, especially with the trickery of Sam Saunders expected to pose a real threat. Semedo will need to lead the discipline in the middle of the park and his role will be crucial.
Match Facts & Stats
Brentford wins: 9
Wednesday wins: 8
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 0-0 Brentford
The Bees were the first time this season to go to Hillsborough and stop Wednesday winning. Let’s hope it’s not a similar scenario this weekend.
v Wycombe Wanderers (H) – 5/5/12