Brian Laws will be looking for a big response from his players following last weekend’s collapse from 2-0 up to lose 3-2 at Queens Park Rangers.
The Owls boss was left fuming following the defeat, and although Wednesday have little to play for between now and the end of the season, Laws won’t be letting his players stroll through the remaining three games.
But for Southampton things are much worse – both on and off the pitch – and they’ll be desperate for maximum points from their trip north.
Owls ‘keeper Lee Grant told www.swfc.co.uk:
‘It would be unfair of us to down tools. We don’t want people on the outside looking in and saying ‘Wednesday have given up the ghost’.
‘That wouldn’t be fair because we owe it to every team in the Championship to give it our best shot.
‘We have to make sure we are not the team to get rolled over. The position that Southampton are in will give us something different to contend with.
‘And we will mean business because it’s important that we bounce back after a disappointing Easter.’
Bradley Wright-Phillips told saintsfc.co.uk:
‘On paper they’ve got nothing to play for but it doesn’t work like that, they’re obviously going to want to win the game because they haven’t won at home since February which is a record that they don’t want to keep up, and we don’t want to go down so it should be a good game.
‘A win will give everybody at the club a lift though. We want three wins and we could perhaps be just another win away from safety if we do that.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will be without injury-ravaged striker Akpo Sodje after he picked up a hamstring strain to rule him out for the next two matches.
Luke Varney is set to get the nod in attack but Brian Laws could well ring the changes following Monday’s collapse at Q.P.R., meaning Leon Clarke and Francis Jeffers will be battling it out for a starting role in attack.
Laws could also make changes at the back, with captain Richard Wood a possibility at sitting on the bench, with Mark Beevers pressing for a recall.
Etienne Esajas is set to get his first home start for a number of months after recovering from injury.
Player to watch: Etienne Esajas
The Dutchman has been one of a number of players struggling with injury at S6 this season but he’ll be hoping to finish the season with a final flourish after recovering from his set-back.
Southampton Team News:
The Saints come into the clash desperate for three points as the relegation trapdoor starts to fall.
Boss Mark Wotte is likely to keep faith with the same starting eleven which beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at St Mary’s on Easter Monday to keep their survival hopes alive.
But Polish striker Marek Saganowski will be pushing for a recall to the starting line-up.
Player to watch: Bradley Wright-Phillips
The striker’s power and pace will no doubt be one of the Saints’ biggest threats to the Wednesday defence and BWP will be keen to fire his team mates out of trouble at the wrong end of the division.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 32
outhampton wins: 23
Last Time Out:
Southampton 1-1 Wednesday
St Mary’s – 6/12/08
Marcus Tudgay’s 87th minute strike rescued a point for Wednesday in the reverse fixture after Bradley Wright-Phillips had given the hosts a first-half lead.
Wednesday: Grant, Spurr, Hinds, Wood (Beevers 46), O’Connor, Potter, Esajas (Johnson 77), Clarke (Sodje 78), Buxton, Varney, Tudgay. Subs Not Used: McAllister, Jeffers.
Saints: Davis, James, Perry, Saeijs, Skacel, Lallana, Wotton, McGoldrick (Liptak 90), Surman, Euell (Saganowski 66), Wright-Phillips (Schneiderlin 77). Subs Not Used: Forecast, Smith.
v Bristol City (A) – 25/04/09
v Cardiff City (H) – 03/05/09