Brian Laws returns to his former club for the first time to try and help Wednesday bag three crucial points and put the final nail in the coffin of the Iron’s survival hopes.
Laws put Scunthorpe on course for promotion last season before making the switch to Hillsborough, and will be wanting to get one over his former physio, Nigel Adkins, after Scunthorpe picked up a win in the reverse fixture at Hillsborough.
A win for Wednesday would go a long way to seeing the Owls survive in the Championship this season, while a defeat for Scunthorpe is unthinkable.
Former Scunthorpe defender Richard Hinds told SWFC.co.uk:
‘Scunthorpe will be fighting because if they win it gives them a little glimmer of hope.
‘I think we are much improved since we played them earlier in the season so I think we have got something to prove to them but we have also got a relegation battle to fight. I’m sure if we keep playing like we have been doing we will get something out of the game.’
‘I’d love to play on Saturday, it’s one of the games I have been looking at on the calendar along with Sheffield United,’ he said. ‘To go back will be great, I had a great time at Scunthorpe and won two promotions so I am looking forward to it. I’m sure I’ll take a bit of stick but that’s part of football and something you enjoy.’
Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins told the official Scunthorpe website:
‘We need to win Saturday’s game. We are very upbeat, the lads have worked hard again this week – as they have done all season.
‘We have prepared very, very well and we are going to keep working through the process goals.
‘We realise the situation we are in, and all we can do is control the controllables and get ready for the next game – which we are looking forward to.
‘We have to win the final five games, we cannot hide away from that fact. We tried to win at Leicester on Saturday but it did not go our way.
Scunthorpe United Team News:
Wednesday may have injury concerns of their own at the moment but Scunthorpe have seen similar bad luck on the injury front at a crucial time of the season.
Boss Nigel Adkins will be sweating over the fitness of leading scorer Martin Paterson, who scored at Hillsborough in the return fixture, and he’ll undergo a late fitness test.
Former Sheffield United man Geoff Horsfield and Paul Hayes will also undergo late tests over their fitness as the Iron look weak in attack.
Jack Cork will also miss out as he serves the second match of his suspenion, while captain Andy Crosby is also a major doubt.
Player to watch: Geoff Horsfield
The former Sheffield United and Birmingham hitman will no doubt want to get one over his former rivals and fire Scunthorpe to three vital points should he pass a late fitness test ahead of the match.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday boss Brian Laws will be sweating over the fitness of Sean McAllister and Richard Hinds who both picked up knocks in recent matches.
Hinds will be the most important for the Owls after having to throw winger Jermaine Johnson in at right-back in the midweek draw with Coventry, although Steve Watson could well come in to contention after featuring on the bench.
McAllister went off midway through the clash with the Sky Blues after putting in a top-drawer performance and is likely to return to the squad, although Adam Bolder could fill in in midfield.
Wade Small is definately back for Wednesday, after the winger had a virus last week, and he could return to the starting eleven at the expense of Burton O’Brien.
Ben Sahar and Deon Burton have been the latest partnering in attack for Wednesday but Bartosz Slusarski will be pushing for a starting spot.
Player to watch: Franck Songo’o
The Portsmouth loanee has been by far and away the best player in a blue and white shirt over the last few days and his trickery is sure to cause the Scunthorpe defence all kinds of problems. Will be the biggest attacking threat for Laws’ men.
Match Facts & Stats
Scunthorpe wins: 3
Wednesday wins: 4
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 1-2 Scunthorpe, 21/10/07
Nigel Adkins got one over on his former gaffer as Scunthorpe recorded an impressive victory over Laws’ struggling Wednesday at Hillsborough. Martin Paterson grabbed both goals for the Iron while a Deon Burton penalty opened the scoring for the Owls.
Scunthorpe: Murphy, Byrne, Iriekpen, Butler, Baraclough (Hayes 66), Weston (Sparrow 66), Goodwin, McCann, Hurst (Morris 20), May, Horsfield. Subs Not Used: Lillis, Hobbs.
Wednesday: Grant, Beevers, Wood, Johnson, Spurr, Songo’o, McAllister (Bolder 44), O’Brien (Slusarski 83), Kavanagh (Watson 76), Burton, Sahar. Subs Not Used: Burch, Gilbert.
v Sheffield United (A) – 08/04/08
v Plymouth Argyle (H) – 14/04/08