Wednesday will be looking to bounce straight back from their midweek defeat at Nottingham Forest and put in a good performance in front of the Sky TV cameras when high-flying Birmingham make the trip to S6.
Alex McLeish’s men have suffered a dip in form of late having picked up just one victory in their last five outings, and will travel to Hillsborough desperate to kick-on from their victory over Derby on Tuesday.
The Blues have bolstered their squad more than Owls’ boss Brian Laws could dream of, bringing in players including West Ham midfielder Lee Bowyer to the club on loan.
But, despite the defeat at Forest in midweek, spirits will be high in the Wednesday camp, and the Owls will be keen to put on a good show and bag all three points in what’s set to be a difficult spell for Brian Laws and his men.
Owls boss Brian Laws told the Sheffield Star:
‘Birmingham have one of the biggest squads in the division. In terms of experience and wages, they blow everybody else out of the water.
‘But we feel confident, particularly at home. They have blown hot and cold.
‘We have one of the best home records, and one of the best home defensive records .
‘We’ll have to maintain that to get a result.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will be without striker Francis Jeffers for the visit of Alex McLeish’s men following his sending off in the 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest in midweek.
Laws is likely to put Leon Clarke straight into the starting line-up as a direct replacement to partner Marcus Tudgay in attack, although Jermaine Johnson could also be an option up front.
Laws has no frersh injury concerns ahead of the match, although Steve Watson could return to the squad following a toe injury,
Player to watch: Leon Clarke
The hitman was in top form before his injury set-back and Owls boss Brian Laws and Wednesdayites alike will be hoping he hits the ground running when he makes his first start since his return. The former Wolves man will be equally as keen to get one over his former enemy.
Birmingham Team News:
Birmingham have no fresh injury concerns for their trip to S6, with boss McLeish likely to stick with a similar squad that beat Derby County in the Championship in midweek.
The only change that could be made could be that of new signing Carlos Costly, who arrived at St Andrews this week to bolster the Blues’ already impressive squad.
Player to watch: Lee Bowyer
The former Leeds United and Newcastle man will be keen to prove he can still cut it at the top level following West Ham’s decision to allow him to leave on loan, and the chance to shine on TV will give him a great chance to do just that.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 28
irmingham wins: 32
Last Time Out:
Blues 3-1 Wednesday
St Andrews, 25/10/08
Birmingham eased to arguably one of ther easiest wins of the season as Garry O’Connor hit a brace and Kevin Phillips also scored in a 3-1 victory. Etienne Esajas netted for the Owls and Jimmy Smith saw red in the second half.
Wednesday: Grant, Buxton, Beevers, Wood, Spurr, Johnson (Clarke 69), Potter, O’Connor (Boden 88), Gray, Tudgay (Small 79), Jeffers. Subs Not Used: Hinds, Modest.
Birmingham:Maik Taylor, Larsson, Martin Taylor, Ridgewell, Murphy, Bouazza, Carsley, Bowyer, Fahey, McFadden (Jerome 68), Phillips (Sinclair 76). Subs Not Used: Doyle, Queudrue, Johnson.
v Barnsley (H) – 03/02/09
v Sheffield United (A) – 07/02/09