WEDNESDAY turn their attentions to FA Cup action this Saturday when they host npower League Two side Aldershot in the second round of the prestigious competition.
Gary Megson’s men will be favourites to win and put their name in the hat for the third round – where they’ll be joined by Championship and Premier League clubs.
But Aldershot, who’ve yet to beat the Owls in a competitive match, will be keen to inflict an FA Cup shock on the Owls on their own patch this weekend.
Owls captain Rob Jones told the Sheffield Star:
“It will be a big game for them [Aldershot] and a tough one for us. They have nothing to lose. We have to make sure we give a good account of ourselves.
“There is a massive incentive to get into the third round. You always want to pit yourselves against the best players in the world.
“I don`t think the cup is a distraction. We have to take the game on its merits. It is the FA Cup; everybody wants to play in it and we are no different.
“We would rather be in it than out of it.”
Aldershot boss Dean Holdsworth told Aldershot’s official website:
‘It is another exciting challenge for the lads. It is a different kind of challenge and a very tough test. This is probably the biggest team in the draw at this stage of the competition. I have played at Hillsborough and it is a great place to play and the lads will love that.
‘We know that if our lads can play with confidence and no fear then we can be a test for anybody.’
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Gary Megson will take the FA Cup more seriously than the other cup competitions this season but he’ll still be forced into making a number of changes to his starting eleven.
That’s because loan players Stephen Bywater, Ben Marshall and Sanchez Watt are all unable to feature due to their loan deals, while defender Miguel Llera is cup-tied after playing in a previous round with Brentford.
Danny Batth is also suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season last weekend, although skipper Rob Jones will return following his suspension. Loan defender James Tavernier has also been given permission to play by Newcastle United.
Gary Madine and Lewis Buxton are still out injured, meaning it’ll be a much-changed Owls XI that go out and try and book Wednesday’s place in the third round.
Richard O’Donnell is set to start in goal, while fringe players such as Mark Reynolds, Julian Bennett, Liam Palmer and Clinton Morrison could all feature at some point.
Player to watch: Ryan Lowe
In the absence of Gary Madine, Wednesdayites will be looking to his replacement Ryan Lowe for the goals to see Wednesday through. Lowe has scored twice away from Hillsborough so far this term and will be keen to get his first goal on home soil.
Aldershot Team News:
Aldershot sit 16th in League Two at present but have already caused a number of cup upsets this season – something Wednesday will no doubt be all-too wary of.
They’ve defeated Championship side West Ham, as well as League One duo Rochdale and Carlisle in knock-out competitions this term and will be aiming to make it four big wins at S6.
Manager Dean Holdsworth has spoke of keeping it solid and tight for the trip to South Yorkshire, meaning the Owls, and their fans, may have to be patient in terms of finding the breakthrough.
The visitors will, at least, travel up to Hillsborough with no injury or suspension concerns to deal with.
Aldershot needed a replay to see off Maidenhead Town 2-0 in the last round.
Player to watch: Danny Hylton
Hylton is Aldershot’s top scorer this season with 12 goals in all competitions and he’ll be eager to grab a goal on the big stage at Hillsborough.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 2
Aldershot wins: 0
Last Time Out:
Aldershot 0-8 Wednesday
League Cup, 03/10/89
The last time the sides met was in another knock-out competition, the League Cup, in the 89-90 season and the Owls romped to an emphatic 8-0 away win. Something tells us it’s going to be a bit closer this time.
v Oldham Athletic (A) – 10/12/11
v Huddersfield Town (H) – 17/12/11