Wednesday have the chance to move into the League One automatic promotion spots this weekend when they take on Leyton Orient at Hillsborough.
With Charlton Athletic, the current leaders, hosting second-placed Huddersfield Town on Monday night, the Owls can swoop above the Terriers with victory against their London opponents.
It would be a big boost for Gary Megson and his men, and the Owls will aim to continue their superb home form which has seen them win seven and draw one of their home game so far this term.
Orient struggled out of the blocks this season and currently sit 17th but come into the game with an impressive unbeaten run of ten games in all competitions – so they’ll be no pushovers.
Owls boss Gary Megson told the Sheffield Star:
“We need as much noise as we can get. This is huge game for us.
“It’s a chance for us to get three points, while the two above us can’t both get three points. We have had our problems to overcome. But they existed in the second half at Tranmere, and it was probably our best 45 minutes of the season. The players did ever so well.
“That took the standard up, and we have to attain that standard more often than not. It’s what management is all about – raising the bar all the time.”
Wednesday Team News:
Owls fans could see a number of new faces in the squad this weekend, with the club bringing in three players on loan this week.
Miguel Llera, James Tavernier and Sanchez Watt have all penned loan deals and are set to be named in the matchday squad for the clash with the O’s.
Of the three, Tavernier is the most likely starter with Lewis Buxton sidelined for a month, although Llera could feature with skipper Rob Jones sitting out with a one-match suspension. Gary Madine will be missing with a broken toe that is set to rule him out of action for six weeks, but Megson is expected to stick with strike duo Chris O’Grady and Ryan Lowe, with Watt coming off the bench in his first game if required.
Megson also has the option of switching Reda Johnson to centre-back to cover for Jones, with either of Julian Bennett or Mark Reynolds coming in at left-back.
Player to watch: Any of the three additions
Wednesdayites will be keen to see all of the recent three loan additions in action this weekend. Watt and Tavernier add Premier League experience and youthful exuberance , while Llera is expected to add some steel to the Owls’ defence.
Leyton Orient Team News:
Orient could give debuts to new loan arrivals Tony Craig and Lee Cook.
Cook, of Queens Park Rangers, had been linked with a loan move to S6 last season but turned down the chance at the last minute. He’ll offer experience and good crossing of the ball for the O’s, and will be keen to get some first-team game time.
He will replace top-scorer Dean Cox on the wing, who is sidelined with knee ligament damage.
Craig is also a good signing for Orient and boss Russell Slade, with the full-back having featured for parent club Millwall a number of times this season in the Championship. Both are expected to get the nod to start this weekend.
Orient will be without Charlie Daniels, who completed a six-figure move to Bournemouth on transfer deadline day on Thursday.
Player to watch: Lee Cook
Orient will be hoping Cook will add some Premier League class to their starting eleven and he’s expected to start this weekend in place of the injured Dean Cox. Cook will also be keen to showcase his talents to Wednesday, a club he turned down a loan move to at the last minute last season.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 17
Orient wins: 9
Last Time Out:
Orient 4-0 Wednesday
Brisbane Road, 22/01/11
The last time the sides met Orient dished out a bit of a hiding on Wednesday on their home soil. Goals from Ben Chorley (pen), Harry Kane, Alex Revell and Scott McGleish put the Owls to the sword.
v Aldershot (H, FA Cup) – 03/12/11
v Oldham (A) – 10/12/11