This is the one. Victory for Wednesday against already-relegated Wycombe Wanderers in the final game of the season on Saturday will ensure the Owls’ promotion to the Championship.
Dave Jones and his men are in pole position going into the crucial final round of npower League 1 matches and Wednesday just have to equal Sheffield United’s result at Exeter City to achieve automatic promotion.
Should the Blades better Wednesday’s result, they’ll take the top-two honours and see the Owls finish up in the play-offs.
Over 37,000 Owls fans will be roaring their side on from all four sides of Hillsborough – it’s going to be some occasion.
Owls boss Dave Jones told the official SWFC website:
‘What we’ve got to do is try and control those nerves. You don’t go into a football match if you’re not nervous because that’s your adrenaline.
‘We’ve tried to keep everything as normal as we possibly can but we knew that would be difficult.
‘Everybody wants a ticket or two so the players would have been inundated that way but actually on the football side of things, it’s been a fairly normal week.’
Wycombe boss Gary Waddock told the official Wanderers website:
‘Saturday is a fantastic occasion for Sheffield Wednesday. They have a sell-out crowd and are looking to go up in the automatic positions, but what a great game it is for us.
‘We go up there and we can go and play football, we can be nice and relaxed and composed. All the pressure is on Sheffield Wednesday to get the result and we will try and give a good account of ourselves.’
Wednesday Team News:
The biggest decision for Owls boss Dave Jones will be whether to stick with on-loan Keith Treacy, who made his first start for the club and scored in the victory at Brentford, or go with Jermaine Johnson in midfield.
Jones has no fresh injury concerns going into the clash and could well stick with the same eleven that beat the Bees last time out, using Johnson as an impact substitute if necessary late on.
Defenders Reda Johnson and Julian Bennett will miss out through injury, meaning Mark Beevers should continue at full-back.
Player to watch: Miguel Llera
Wednesday will have to be strong all over the park, and Spanish defender Llera has been superb since coming into the team, cementing his place as one of the first names on the team sheet. Strong in defence, and a goal threat in attack, Llera also chips in with assists and offers variety from set-pieces.
Wycombe Wanderers Team News:
Wycombe will come into the game having already been relegated, meaning that although Gary Waddock and his men will be disappointed at playing League 2 football next season, the pressure will be off.
Their relegation was confirmed last weekend when they suffered a 4-3 loss against Notts County – many Owls fans won’t be able to cope if the scoreline is as close this weekend.
Ben Strevens is a doubt for the Chairboys after he suffered an injury last weekend, while Wanderers will make the trip to S6 without a number of other players through injury. Chris Hackett, Dave Winfield and Anthony Stewart are all sidelined.
Player to watch: Stuart Beavon
Beavon has scored 25 goals this season but they weren’t enough to save his side from relegation. He’s one of the division’s top goal-getters and will be eager to finish with a flourish in front of the season’s biggest crowd outside the Premier League.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 2
Wycombe wins: 0
Last Time Out:
Wycombe 1-2 Wednesday
Adams Park, 29/10/11
Goals from Jose Semedo and Ryan Lowe gave the Owls the three points when they sides met earlier in the season. Jordan Ibe had briefly got the hosts on level terms before Lowe regained the lead as all goals came in the first half. Gareth Ainsworth was sent-off for the hosts in the second half.