Wednesday travel to champions elect Brighton and Hove Albion tomorrow looking to secure a hat-trick of victories that would all-but seal their npower League One status.
Back-to-back home wins against Colchester United and Tranmere Rovers respectively have eased fears of relegation around Hillsborough.
A third win on the spin against Gus Poyet’s men should see the Owls win their battle against the drop, but it’s going to be tough against a Seagulls side looking to secure promotion to the Championship.
It’ll be the last time the Owls play at the Withdean, with Brighton moving into a brand-new stadium at the start of the next campaign.
Brighton boss Gus Poyet told the club’s official website:
‘We will respect Sheffield because we were expecting to be around or behind them at this stage of the season. Luckily enough for us we are in a much better position.
‘We need to show why we are in this position and play our own game. We pay attention to the opposition and look at what they do, so we know their danger, but we have to play our own game.
‘I have been very surprised with their season. I was expecting them to be in top three at least, if not at the top of the table at this time in the season, so it’s a big surprise.
‘We lost against them when they were a very good team and in form. Football is unpredictable so you have got to be spot-on all the time.’
Brighton & Hove Albion Team News:
Brighton are unbeaten in home matches in the league this season, winning 15 and drawing four of their games at te Withdean Stadium so far.
It’s helped them put a gap of eleven points between them and second-placed Huddersfield Town, with a game in hand, and on-course for promotion to the Championship.
They go into the game on the back of a 2-2 stalemate against Rochdale in Lancashire in midweek and will welcome back a number of players from injury.
Defender Adam El-Abd will be available for selection after recovering from a hamstring injury, while striker Ashley Barnes has also recovered from an ankle injury.
Midfielder Jamie Smith has recovered from a metatarsal injury that’s kept him out for eleven weeks, but it’s unlikely he’ll be thrown straight back into the Seagulls’ starting eleven.
Player to watch: Glenn Murray
Striker Murray is Brighton’s top goalscorer in the league this season with 20 to his name so far, and he won’t want to stop there. The hitman was linked with a move to the Owls earlier of the season.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday boss Gary Megson will be tempted to stick with the same starting eleven that eased by Tranmere 4-0 in midweek.
The win was the second in four days for the Owls, and Wednesday will be looking to complete a hat-trick of victories at the Withdean.
On-loan defender Rob Jones will be available for selection after recovering from concussion, but a first clean sheet for goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell against Tranmere may mean Megson sticks with the same back four.
Neil Mellor will be wanting to play a good game and kick-on from scoring three goals in his last two outings, especially with the media linking him with a move to Brighton next season.
Player to watch: Neil Mellor
Mellor has hit form at just the right time for the Owls, netting three goals in his last two games to help guide Wednesday to crucial wins. Links with a summer move to the Seagulls may also pump the on-loan hitman up for the game.
Match Facts & Stats
Brighton wins: 3
Wednesday wins: 10
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 1-0 Brighton
Giles Coke’s first-half strike ensured Wednesday the three points in the reverse fixture last August. Brighton left feeling they should have got more for their efforts in a tight game.
v Hartlepool United (H) – 16/04/11