Wednesday may not have a Steel City derby to contend this season but they do have a number of Yorkshire derby matches, and they get no bigger than Leeds United.
Rivalries aside, however, Dave Jones and his men will look to the clash as the ideal opportunity to end their poor run of results and get a long-awaited victory Owls fans will be hoping can kick-start their season.
Leeds come into the game in good form, and with die-hard Blade Neil Warnock in charge, but it’ll be interesting to see just who the international break has favoured the most.
Let battle commence.
Owls boss Dave Jones told the Sheffield Star:
“The mood of the players in really good,- strong and confident, and that goes right through the club.
“They`re disappointed, like everybody else, with the results, but everybody is upbeat and wanting to do well, and the players are working really hard. We know we`re getting closer. It will change for us. It will turn. “
Leeds boss Neil Warnock told the Yorkshire Post:
“I`ve always liked Hillsborough. It is a proper old ground and the crowd is always vociferous, especially when I`m there it seems.
“I always get the same reception whenever I go back. It hasn`t changed in who knows how long. I am sure they will be chanting my name from kick-off on Friday. And not in a nice way, either.
“But I am used to it now. I`ve had stick at quite a few grounds down the years. Elland Road always used to be one of the worst, to be fair. I got dog`s abuse there. But, again, it never bothered me.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday boss Dave Jones has no fresh injury or suspension problems for the visit of Leeds.
It could mean he opts for the same eleven that started last time out when Wednesday fell to a 1-0 home loss against Hull City, but changes could be made.
Players such as striker Gary Madine and winger Jermaine Johnson both started on the bench against the Tigers and will be pushing for call-ups to start in the Yorkshire derby.
But the injured Reda Johnson and Chris Lines will still be unavailable through injury.
Player to watch: Ross Barkley
It could be the Everton youngster’s last game on-loan at Wednesday and if it is, he’ll be eager to show Owls fans what all the fuss is about in arguably his biggest game since moving to Hillsborough from Goodison Park.
Leeds United Team News:
Leeds have signed Ryan Hall from Southend United on loan with a view to a permanent deal and he could go straight into Neil Warnock’s squad for the trip to South Yorkshire.
Rodolph Austin will have a late fitness check. The midfielder has been on international duty away with Jamaica and, as well as jet lag, won’t have had much time to train with his team-mates ahead of the game.
Former Sheffield United midfielder Michael Tonge will be eager to feature but he’ll also have a late fitness test on a shoulder injury.
But David Norris, one of Wednesday’s pre-season targets, could be fit to return to action, as could Paul Green.
Player to watch: El Hadji Diouf
He’ll probably only be the second most hated man in Hillsborough – quite a rare occurrence for the forward – behind Neil Warnock on Friday night, but he still has the skills to cause the Owls plenty of problems and will relish the atmosphere.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 29
Leeds wins: 34
Last Time Out:
Leeds 2-3 Wednesday
Elland Road, 03/03/2007
Goals from Marcus Tudgay, Chris Brunt and Jermaine Johnson put Wednesday 3-0 up at Elland Road but they survived a late scare as Leeds bagged two late goals to make it a tense finish.
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