Wednesday could be given an early Christmas present by moving into the Championship play-offs should they beat Bristol City and other results go their way this Saturday.
Although not setting the league alight with their performances, the Owls could make it a festive five games unbeaten against the Robins at Hillsborough to put them in a good position in the traditionally hectic festive period.
But City will be looking to get on a good run themselves following a dip in form which saw them beat 3-1 at Ipswich Town on Wednesday night.
Steve Watson told the Sheffield Star:
‘I don’t think we’re playing brilliantly now but we are defending better.
‘A lot of things were said in the dressing room after the Derby game, not just by the gaffer, but involving everybody. That might have been what we needed, for a lot of lads to look and see what we could do differently.
‘We seem to be more resolute now, but bear in mind that most of the teams we were playing in our bad away run were the top teams.
‘We need to be pushing on now. We’ve got nine or 10 injuries. I’ve never known a club like it for injuries.
‘We haven’t got the luxury of resting players. It will be all hands to the pumps again on Saturday.’
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Brian Laws will be forced to make changes to the side that beat QPR in midweek with a string of new injuries coming his way.
Both Etienne Esajas and Frank Simek have been ruled out of the visit of the Robins on Saturday, leaving Wednesday short of numbers and Brian Laws a huge selection headache.
Laws could have the option of Wade Small to replace Esajas on the left, although the former MK Dons man is rated 50-50 after suffering an eye injury in the midweek clash.
Laws has also hinted inexperienced youngster Rocky Lekaj could get a run out if needs be, while the option of leaving one up front and bringing Bartosz Slusarski on the left, an option Laws has used in the last two games, is also available.
Lewis Buxton will also undergo a late fitness test with Laws hoping the loanee will be available to replace Frank Simek after suffering an illness.
Player to watch: Leon Clarke
The former Wolves man seems to have shrugged off his critics to enter into the form of his career with the Owls, and seems to be the man most likely to hit the back of the net this weekend.
Bristol City Team News:
Bristol City also have their fair share of injuries and skipper Louis Carey looks set to join that list after coming off with a dead leg in the 3-1 defeat to Ipswich Town in midweek.
Former Crewe Alex striker Nicky Maynard is also rated as a doubt for the clash after he also left the pitch at Portman Road at half-time through injury.
Jamie McAllister (toe), Lee Johnson (ankle) and Dele Adebola (dead leg) are also likely to miss out for Gary Johnson’s men.
Player to watch: Stern John
The former Nottingham Forest man found the back of the net in the 3-1 midweek defeat to Ipswich Town and could well be the main threat for the Robins on Saturday.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 23
City wins: 13
Last Time Out:
City 2-1 Wednesday
Ashton Gate, 9/2/08
Goals from Dele Adebola and Bradley Orr sealed the three points for City in comfortable style, despite a late Lee Bullen effort for Wednesday at Ashton Gate.
Wednesday: Grant, Simek (Watson 38), Beevers, Wood, Spurr, Tudgay, McAllister, O’Connor, Esajas (Small 28), Jeffers (Slusarski 72), Clarke. Subs Not Used: O’Donnell, Smith.
Bristol: Basso, Brian Wilson, Carey (James Wilson 46), McCombe, Fontaine, Sproule, Elliott, Skuse, McIndoe, John (Akinde 65), Maynard (Trundle 65).Subs Not Used: Henderson, Williams.
v Cardiff City (A) – 20/12/08
v Blackpool (H) – 26/12/08