Wednesday will be hoping it’s lucky number seven this weekend as they look to bag their first points of the season against Phil Brown’s in-form Hull City side.
The Owls have had a disastrous start to the new campaign but will be bolstered by the new singings of Graham Kavanagh and Michael Johnson to the squad for the clash with the Tigers.
And the clash could well have extra meaning for Wednesday boss Brian Laws, with reports this week suggesting the Owls gaffer has just a number of games to save his job.
Hull boss Phil Brown told the official HCFC site:
‘The fact that they haven’t got any points yet does make you worry a bit more. I think Brian Laws’ sides always play attractive football and the movement of their strikers does cause problems.
‘They brought a team here a couple of weeks back for a behind closed doors game and they play in an attractive way. It’s something that is indoctrinated throughout the club.
‘But they’re just not having the luck at the moment and we have to make sure their bad luck continues on Saturday.
‘The fact that tomorrow is a local derby as well adds extra spice to the game. But we’ve got to go there with a professional mentality.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday are expected to welcome new loan signings Michael Johnson and Graham Kavanagh in to their starting eleven with Tommy Spurr and Kenny Lunt the likely men to drop out.
Brian Laws has a selection headache with his front pairing with Francis Jeffers, Akpo Sopdje, Deon Burton and Marcus Tudgay all fighting for a starting place.
All four got their chance in the 2-0 defeat to Burnley in midweek but failed to cement a starting place for the clash with the Tigers.
Laws will also have to ponder his options in midfield with Jermaine Johnson pushing for a return to the starting eleven, with Wade Small the man likely to drop to the bench should the Jamaican come in.
Player to watch: Graham Kavanagh
Wednesday have been crying out for some experience in the middle of the park and the centre midfield pairing of Kavanagh and Whelan could prove vital to the Owls getting out of their current mess.
Hull City Team News:
Hull will give late fitness tests to strikers Caleb Folan and Dean Windass, while former Leeds and Sunderland hitman Michael Bridges waits in the wings for a call-up to the Tiger’s starting eleven.
Stephen McPhee could also be called upon by Brown after both Windass and Folan picked up injuries in the Tigers’ victory over Wolves in midweek.
But Wednesday won’t have to worry about Nick Barmby this time, with the former Middlesbrough man out injured along with Ryan France, John Welsh and Sam Collins
Player to watch: Jay Jay Okacha
Okocha no doubt still has the ability to compete but it could take him a while to re-adjust to life in the Championship at Hull, and Saturday could well prove too early for him to make an impression, but he’ll still provide difficulties for the Owls defence.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 18
Hull wins: 9
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 1-2 Hull City
Saturday, January 1, 2007.
Wednesday kicked off 2007 with a disappointing defeat at home to the Tigers, which started a poor run of results to see them fall away from the play-off spots.
Nick Barmby had put Hull in front early on before Deon Burton got the Owls level just after the start of the second half. But Barmby was to have the last laugh wiuth his second of the game to wrap up the points for the Tigers.
Wednesday: Grant, Wood, Watson (Hinds 46), Simek, Spurr, Lunt, Whelan, Esajas, Small, Sodje (Burton 60), Jeffers (Tudgay 60). Subs Not Used: Burch, Johnson.
Hull: Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Brown, Delaney, Garcia, Ashbee, Marney, Hughes, Folan (Windass 41), Okocha (Livermore 84), Windass (Bridges 65). Subs Not Used: Aspden, Dawson.
26/09/07: Everton (H) (Carling Cup)
29/09/07: Norwich City (A)