Wednesday return from the international break with a tough, first-ever trip to Brighton and Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium tonight.
The Owls suffered their first defeat under the leadership of manager Dave Jones last time out at Crystal Palace and they’ll be eager to bounce back against the Seagulls.
Both sides can take top-spot in the Championship with victory, albeit early in the season, adding that bit extra to the Friday night clash.
Brighton boss Gus Poyet told the Seagulls’ official website:
‘The chance to go top should be an incentive because when we went top two years ago, in League One, we got even better, so why can’t we do that again?
‘Even if it’s just for one day it would be very good to see and should bring something extra from the players.
‘Sheffield Wednesday are a big side and will test us, but in every game we learn something and it’s another great chance to see how strong we can be against a good team.’
Wednesday’s former Brighton defender Joe Mattock told the official SWFC site:
“Hopefully I`ll play. I have a good bond with Brighton because I was there last season and was in really good form.
“If I do play then I`ll definitely grab the opportunity with both hands.”
He added: “I don`t know if I`ll be playing or not because we have got three good left backs in the squad and I`ve been working hard to keep my fitness.
“It has been a bit frustrating not to play but the team has being doing well, so I`ve had to bide my time and it would be great to kick-start my season at Brighton.”
Brighton and Hove Albion Team News:
Brighton boss Gus Poyet will have recent additions Stephen Dobbie, Dean Hammond, David Lopez and Andrea Orlandi all available for selection for the clash.
All four players were deadline-day additions by Poyet and he’s eager to see the quartet in action on home soil.
Vicente Rodriguez remains sidelined for the Seagulls with an inflamed tendon and Andrew Crofts is also a doubt after picking up a knock against Burnley.
Player to watch: Craig Mackail-Smith
The former Peterborough United striker has made a good start to the season with four goals in as many games, including a top-quality brace against Burnley. He’ll be the biggest threat to the Owls’ defence, and they’ll be well aware of his ability.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will have some debutants of their own in the squad at the Amex Stadium, with striker Jay Bothroyd and defender Martin Taylor both expected to be in Dave Jones’s squad for the trip south.
Talented youngster Ross Barkley has also arrived at Hillsborough on a one-month loan deal from Everton and he could be thrown straight into the squad.
Full-backs Lewis Buxton and Reda Johnson are both struggling with niggling injuries, meaning former Brighton player Joe Mattock could get his first league start at left-back and Kieran Lee, another summer addition, could also play.
Player to watch: Ross Barkley
Should the Everton man get his debut tonight, Wednesday fans will be keen to see what all the fuss is about and just what he can offer the Owls during his loan spell. Raved about at Goodison Park, his arrival could be quite a coup for Dave Jones.
Match Facts & Stats
Brighton wins: 4
Wednesday wins: 10
Last Time Out:
Brighton 2-0 Wednesday
Goals from Chris Wood, from the spot, and Elliott Bennett condemned Wednesday to defeat the last time they travelled to Brighton, and they went on to suffer relegation the same season.
v Huddersfield Town (H) – 19/9/12