Wednesday’s task of arresting their run of three straight Championship defeats gets no easier this Saturday when promotion-hopefuls Leicester City visit Hillsborough.
Owls boss Dave Jones has come under fire from supporters in recent weeks with Wednesday lurching just two points above the relegation zone thanks to a run of two wins from 15 matches.
In contrast, former Owl Nigel Pearson has guided Leicester into fifth and four points off an automatic promotion spot following a run of just two defeats from City’s last ten matches.
Jones will be out to turn the form book on its head and his squad will be boosted with the loan arrivals of Mamady Sidibe and Jeremy Helan, although Ross Barkley has returned to Everton.
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Dave Jones bolstered his squad with the loan signings of striker Mamady Sidibe, from Stoke City, and left-back/winger Jeremy Helan from Manchester City on transfer deadline day and both are expected to be in the squad to face the Foxes.
Jones has been desperate to add to his attacking options but Sidibe may have to wait for a first start in the blue and white, with the player hardly kicking a ball in anger in the last two injury-hit years. Of the two, Helan is the more likely to start but it is unclear whether he’ll be used as an attacking winger or at left-back.
There will be no Ross Barkley available for selection after Everton recalled the young midfielder to Goodison Park this week. Rhys McCabe could come in as a like-for-like swap for the Toffees man, but Jones could also opt to change his formation following recent results and the recent changes to his personnel.
Midfielder Chris Lines will be chomping at the bit for a first run-out for the Owls in the Championship after edging closer to a return to full fitness. Jones said he could be in the squad at Forest but didn’t feature – a week on and Lines could get his chance.
Player to watch: Helan/Sidibe
Wednesday’s two new loan signings are set to be in Dave Jones’s squad and although their arrivals have not exactly inspired Wednesdayites, they’ll be the ones charged with helping improve the Owls’ fortunes in the Championship – until the January transfer window at least.
Leicester City Team News:
Leicester have been handed a blow with the news that top-scorer David Nugent will be sidelined for the trip to South Yorkshire. Nugent, who has scored nine goals for City so far this season, sustained a neck injury in the Foxes’ draw with Nottingham Forest and is set to miss the Yorkshire double-header against the Owls this weekend and at Leeds United on Tuesday night.
Jamie Vardy, a big Wednesday supporter, could come in to replace Nugent after recovering from an injury of his own – and he’ll be desperate to impress not just on his return from injury but also at a ground where he came to support the Owls in the stands.
Boss Nigel Pearson could also be boosted with the return of left-back Paul Konchesky. The former Charlton Athletic man has been out with a hamstring injury for the last fortnight but could come in to replace Jeff Schlupp at left-back.
Pearson will have no other fresh injury or suspension concerns on his return to his old stomping ground.
Player to watch: Anthony Knockaert
The French winger has been a sensation since arriving at the Keepmoat Stadium and his box of tricks are sure to bamboozle the Owls defence throughout the match. Keeping former Owls loan star Ben Marshall out of the team, he’s also City’s third top-scorer this term.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 40
Leicester wins: 38
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 2-0 Leicester
Hillsborough – 6/3/2010
Leon Clarke scored both goals as Wednesday secured a convincing win over the Foxes last time out at Hillsborough, netting in the sixth minute and just after the hour mark.
v Watford (H) – 27/11/12