The last time Wednesday visited the Withdean Stadium, Brighton condemned the Owls to relegation to League One after a 1-1 draw wasn’t enough for Chris Turners men. This time the table’s have turned, and a draw for the Owls would be enough to see the Seagulls relegated.
The Easter Monday clash promises to be an entertaining match, with Mark McGhee’s men desperate for all three points. Anything less would see them relegated. The Owls can take confidence from the 1-0 victory over Norwich at the weekend and know their fate is firmly in their own hands.
Paul Sturrock told the SWFC official site:
‘My worry is the players and the fan base now think we’re safe. It’s in our hands now but the quicker it’s done the better. Once we stagger over the line I’ll be a happy bunny.’
‘We could have taken care of business at Crewe. Brighton is a difficult place to go and they’ll be buoyed by their result. Sheffield Wednesday don’t do anything easy.’
Brighton boss Mark McGhee told BBC Sport:
‘We’ve lost once in our last six games so we’re in a decent bit of form.
‘It has stemmed from the arrival of Gifton Noel-Williams. He has made us a better team, but it’s probably too late.
‘We have unrealistic prospects of staying up but playing Sheffield Wednesday next gives us a chance.’
Brighton Team News:
Brighton boss Mark McGhee is likely to stick with the same side that beat Ipswich Town 2-1 on Saturday to keep their survival hopes alive. The Seagulls picked up no fresh injury worries from the match and McGhee won’t want to change a winning side for such a vital match.
Veteran Guy Butters has been there and done it before with the Seagulls and although he may not be as quick on his feet, his experience will be vital to to the rest of the Albion team.
Colin Kazim-Richards will also be vital to the Brighton team after the youngster scored one in the 2-1 victory over Ipswich on Saturday.
Player to watch: Gifton Noel-Williams
The arrival of Noel-Williams to the South Coast side has seen an upturn in results for the Seagulls, but it’s likely that his arrival has come too late to save them from the drop. The on-loan Burnley striker has scored one goal in his three appearances for the Seagulls so far.
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Paul Sturrock is likely to stick with the same side that beat Norwich City 1-0 at the weekend and stretch the gap between themselves and the drop zone.
Sturrock has no fresh injury concerns going in to the relegation six pointer at the Withdean Stadium, but a couple of players could be struggling for fitness with two games in just three days over the Easter period.
Steve Adams is likely to be the main worry for the Owls, after the former Plymouth Argyle man returned from injury to play an hour of Wednesday’s victory over Norwich. Glenn Whelen may replace Adams, after being dropped to the bench on Saturday.
Monday may be too soon for centre-backs Drissa Diallo and Richard Wood to return to action, but they are likely to undergo late fitness tests in a bid to boost the Owls depleted defensive lines. Lee Bullen is likely to continue alongside Graham Coughlan in the centre of defence after successfully keeping out the Norwich attack. Mikkel Bischoff will miss the trip through injury.
Sturrock will also have to decide whether to include the creative Chris Brunt on the right wing or the determined Jon-Paul McGovern – who recently returned from injury. Sturrock opted for McGovern against a battling Crewe side and may opt for the same on Monday.
Player to watch: Marcus Tudgay
Strike partner Deon Burton may be getting all the plaudits at the moment, but Tudgay has now overtaken Burton in the scoring charts and looks a real threat going forward. His neat first touch and strength holding the ball up make him a problem for defenders and his goals have helped the Owls in the battle against the drop.
Match Facts & Stats
Total Matches: 20
Brighton Wins: 3
SWFC Wins: 8
24th October 2005
Wednesday 1-1 Brighton
A Colin Kazim-Richards goal in the final minute gave an Albion a point at Hillsborough, after Lee Peacock had given the Owls the lead 10 minutes into the second half. That goal could now prove crucial for the Seagulls in the fight against relegation.
Played For Both:
BRIGHTON: Henderson, Hart, Butters, McShane, Lynch, Reid (El-Abd 74), Hammond, Carpenter, Mayo, Kazim-Richards (Carole 88), Noel-Williams (Gatting 83).
Subs Not Used: Martin, Frutos.
WEDNESDAY: Carson, Bullen, Simek, Coughlan, Hills, Brunt (McGovern 68), Adams (Whelan 58), Folly, O’Brien, Tudgay, Burton.
Subs Not Used: MacLean, Best, Spurr.
Vs Reading (H) – 22/04/06
Vs Derby County (A) – 30/04/06