Wednesday will aim to maintain their top form at ‘fortress Hillsborough’ on Saturday when John Sheridan brings his Chesterfield side to S6 for the Owls’ first derby match of the campaign.
The Owls have won all five of their home matches in the league so far this term and have the chance to climb into the npower League 1 automatic promotion spots with victory against the Spireites.
Gary Megson’s men will be confident of victory after hitting a rich vein of form, but the visitors will look to end back-to-back league defeats in fine style and will be boosted by a midweek Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory at Notts County.
Owls boss Gary Megson told the official SWFC website:
‘With our home record the way it is, we need to keep as strong as we possibly can and realise that each game that you win at home, it becomes harder and harder the next time so we need to be aware of that and meet that challenge head on.
‘It’s going to be a big attendance with a great atmosphere and it makes for exciting times. It’s always important to win your derby games.’
He continued: ‘We want to play as well as we can, have as much possession, have as many shots but the bottom line has to be that we win.
‘Chesterfield got a poor result last week at home against Colchester but got a great win in midweek against Notts County.
‘They’re coming here from just down the road so that will completely change anything to do with form so this will be a tough task for us.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will be without Reda Johnson and Liam Palmer, who are both away on international duty. Johnson, who scored the winner in last week’s 1-0 win at Hartlepool, is representing Benin, while Palmer is on duty with Scotland U21s.
It means there will be a free spot at left-back to fill, with Mark Reynolds or Julian Bennett expected to plug the gap. Reynolds came on to replace Johnson at Victoria Park last weekend, something which could give him the edge in being selected.
Jermaine Johnson is available again after serving a three-match ban but is unlikely to make the starting eleven. A spot on the bench is more likely, with his speed likely to cause Chesterfield’s defence problems as a second-half substitute.
Owls boss Gary Megson may not opt to make too many changes given his side’s current good form. Chris O’Grady is fit and available to start, but has been a substitute in recent matches, with David McGoldrick partnering Gary Madine in attack.
Ryan Lowe is still a way off fully recovering from his injury and is unlikely to make the squad.
Player to watch: Gary Madine
Madine had a rare weekend without finding the back of the net at Victoria Park last time out and will be keen to get back on the goal trail and make it a perfect ten goals for the season against the Spireites this weekend.
Chesterfield Team News:
Former Wednesday striker Leon Clarke is set to start for the first time since leaving Hillsborough for pastures news.
Clarke is on-loan at the club after falling out with Paolo Di Canio at Swindon Town and has enjoyed a good start to his time as a Spireite.
Defender Jonathan Grounds is set to continue in Chesterfield’s defence after agreeing an extension to his loan deal from Championship side Middlesbrough.
But John Sheridan will be without Lee Johnson, who was sent off in Chesterfield’s 3-1 JP Trophy win at Notts County in midweek.
Left-back Nathan Smith is away on international duty with Jamaica.
Player to watch: Leon Clarke
Clarke had a hit-and-miss time with the Wednesday faithful but he’ll no doubt be keen to score on his first return to his old stomping ground – and he’s in a good run of form since making the switch to Derbyshire.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 11
Chesterfield wins: 11
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 2-2 Chesterfield (8-7 pens)
The last time the sides met was last season in the JP Trophy, the Owls going through on penalties. Dean Morgan and Craig Davies twice fired the Spireites ahead but Neil Mellor and Marcus Tudgay pegged the visitors back to send the game to spot-kicks. And it was the hosts who held their nerve, mainly thanks to a superb performance from Nicky Weaver in the Wednesday goal.
v Sheffield United (A) 16/10/11