It’s that time of year again, when the people of Barnsley pack up for their day in the big city and make the trip to Hillsborough for their long-awaited cup final…
That’s enough of winding up our little friends from ‘up north’ though, I don’t want to make the bump back down to earth too big with their in-form team looking to break their Hillsborough hoodoo.
Barnsley have endured a torrid time at Hillsborough of late, having failed to win there in the last 24 years, but Simon Davey and his men have as good a chance as any tonight after having a superb start to the season, including their weekend victory over league leaders Watford.
And it’ll certainly be one of the more even matches ahead of the clash, with Wednesday in a similar vein of good form, having gone five matches unbeaten.
Brian Laws told the official SWFC site:
‘That vocal support that we had at QPR was exceptionally good and I appeal to the supporters to come out in a local derby and give us that fantastic support again; make it an intimidating atmosphere for the Barnsley players. They (Barnsley) have sold 5,000 tickets so we’re expecting a big gate and a hell of a big noise.
‘Barnsley came here last season and were the better team but lost and then we beat them 3-0 at their place and I know they are smarting from that. Their results this season show you they are a tough nut to crack but this is a local derby and I am sure it will have every ingredient for that.’
Simon Davey told the Yorkshire Post:
‘We know we have to compete in this division and on Saturday we competed with the best and came away with three points. Hopefully that will give our players a lot of belief – some of the passion shown within the group was fantastic, they all did their jobs.
‘Most of the fans say they would rather have lost to Watford and beat Sheffield Wednesday but I beg to disagree on that one. But it’s a massive game. I have only played them once last year and got beat 3-0 at home and it remains the lowest part of my reign as manager at this club and I have to make sure I put that right on Tuesday night.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday could well remain unchanged from their stalemate at Loftus Road against QPR at the weekend with no fresh injury worries going in to the South Yorkshire derby, although Glenn Whelan could return.
Yoann Folly came in to replace Whelan, out with a hip injury, at the weekend, and could be set to continue in midfield should the Irishman fail to overcome a late fitness test.
Striker Akpo Sodje left the field early on Saturday, also with a hip injury, but is expected to come straight back in to the team, although Deon Burton is waiting in the wings.
Player to watch: Akpo Sodje
The last time a side visited Hillsborough it was the Akpo Sodje show as he netted two superb efforts in the 5-0 mauling of Southampton last time out. And he’ll be a key cog in the Owls’ attacking force tonight.
Barnsley Team News:
Barnsley manager Simon Davey will have no fresh injury worries coming in to the clash following his teams’ superb 3-2 victory over league leaders Watford at the weekend, which will no doubt leave them high in confidence.
Barnsley will be backed by a big following from Oakwell, with almost 5,000 tickets sold in the away end – half of Barnsley’s home support against Watford last weekend.
Player to watch: Martin Devaney
Former Watford man Devaney has been a key cog in Barnsley’s successful start to the season with his creativity in midfield, and his added goals including a wonder strike against the Hornets on Saturday.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 29
Barnsley wins: 19
Last Time Out:
Barnsley 0-3 Wednesday
30/12/06 – Oakwell
Wednesday were in tip-top form as they ripped helpless Barnsley to shreds thanks to goals from Wayne Andrews, Chris Brunt and Steve Maclean in front of almost 8,000 travelling Wednesdayites.
Wednesday: Grant, Simek, Hinds, Michael Johnson, Spurr, Jermaine Johnson (Small 80), Watson, Folly, O’Brien, Sodje (Burton 57), Tudgay. Subs Not Used: Lunt, Esajas, Beevers.
Barnsley: Muller, Foster, Souza, Nyatanga, Werling, Campbell-Ryce (McCann 87), De Silva, Howard, Devaney, Ferenczi, Macken. Subs Not Used: Reid, Togwell, Odejayi, Christensen.
V Colchester United (H) – 01/12/07
V Southampton (A) – 04/12/07
V Coventry City (H) – 08/12/07