Wednesday will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season when Gus Poyet’s Brighton make the long trip to Hillsborough this weekend.
The Owls have come out of their first three games with a respectable two wins and a draw from all competitions and boss Alan Irvine will be looking for nothing less than three points from their home matches.
The Seagulls will be no pushovers though, having secured a win and a draw from their first two league matches, and Poyet and his troops will be desperate for a scalp as big as Wednesday so early in the season.
Owls boss Alan Irvine told the official SWFC website:
‘Brighton are a good footballing team and encouraged to play out from the back. They have played a few formations in the games they have played so far.
‘They went to Swindon and played 4-5-1, then they played a different formation in the game against Rochdale last week.
‘I’m not too sure exactly what kind of formation they will come with on Saturday. They may revert to the 4-5-1 that got them the 2-1 win against Swindon or they may stick with the formation that got them a draw against Rochdale.
‘Gus Poyet will have his own ideas about coming to Hillsborough and getting a result. We’ll find out what his tactics are once the game starts.’
Albion boss Gus Poyet told the official Brighton website:
‘Sheffield Wednesday are possibly the best team in the league. They are playing at home so it’ll be one of the most difficult games for us this season, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t win.
‘We have to be organised and play well to win the game, and I want us to play our way. As a squad we are capable of collecting all three points.
‘They have the option to play two or three good strikers up front, so it’s going to be difficult for our defenders, but we are expecting to make it difficult for their defenders too.
‘We should raise our game in a great stadium like Hillsborough, and as a player it should be a great game to play in, but we must stop making mistakes.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will have midfielder Tommy Miller back in contention after the former Sunderland man returned to training this week following a hamstring injury.
Saturday’s clash with the Seagulls could come too soon for a start for Miller but he’s expected to be included on the bench for the match.
Midfielders Giles Coke and Gary Teale will be fit and available after shaking off niggles in training this week but Jermaine Johnson is still sidelined and is yet expected to be out for another few weeks.
Irvine has no fresh injury concerns going into the clash with Brighton though and will be tempted to stick with the same starting eleven that drew at Colchester United at the weekend.
Neil Mellor netted the leveller and gave a good account of himself and will no doubt have been putting his handf up for a starting role during training this week.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
Morrison will be desperate for more goals on his return to Hillsborough and with more games under his belt, the former Coventry City man will have seen his fitness levels up, too. Expected to start alongside Marcus Tudgay in attack, the flourishing partnership will be key in breaking down Brighton’s defence.
Brighton & Hove Albion Team News:
Gordon Green will be missing for Albion as he starts the first game of a three-match ban – he hands the captain’s armband over to Inigo Calderon for the game.
Another player missing out through suspension is Matt Sparrow, who sits out his second game of another three-game ban.
Peter Brezovan (wrist) and Lewis Dunk (foot) are both out injured and won’t return for the trip to Hillsborough.
Brighton took Diego Camacho on trial this week, such is the injury and suspension worries at the club so early in the season, and he’s successful in his trial he could be thrown straight in for the trip to S6.
Alan Navarro is still out through injury for the visitors.
Player to watch: Radostin Kishishev
The Bulgarian may not be getting any younger but he’s still a key piece of Gus Poyet’s team at Brighton. The midfield battle could well be key at Hillsborough and the experienced Kishishev will undoubtedly be up for the challenge.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 9
Brighton wins: 3
Last Time Out:
Brighton 0-2 Wednesday
Withdean Stadium, 17/04/06
The last time Wednesday faced Brighton it was for the right to stay in the Championship – and the Owls came out on top, sending Millwall down as a result. A Gary Hart own goal as early as the eighth minute was followed by a second-half Burton O’Brien strike to seal the points for Wednesday.
v Scunthorpe United (A, LC) – 24/08/10
v Hartlepool United (A) – 28/08/10