Wednesday will aim to book their place amongst the ‘big boys’ in the FA Cup 3rd round with victory over Northampton Town at Hillsborough on Saturday.
The Owls are in a rich vein of form thanks to five wins on the spin and will be firm favourites to progress against lower league opposition on home soil.
The Cobblers are no mugs though, despite sitting just one place above the League Two relegation zone, and have a cup victory over Premier League giants Liverpool to their name this season.
Owls boss Alan Irvine told swfc.co.uk:
‘While it would be nice to score more goals, our focus is on winning the game to make sure our name is in the hat for the third round draw.
‘The Premiership teams come into the FA Cup at the next stage and the prospect of a money-spinning game in the third round is appealing to everyone at the club.
‘We are scoring plenty of goals at the moment and that is a real positive. I am told our current run of goals is the most productive at Sheffield Wednesday for 15 years and the players can quite rightly be proud of their achievement. ‘
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday could be boosted by the return of Giles Coke and Lewis Buxton for the visit of the Cobblers, but Owls boss Alan Irvine will be tempted to stick with the same eleven that beat Walsall 3-0 in midweek.
Buxton, who has been out with a hamstring injury, is the most likely to return of the duo to replace Daniel Jones, who played at left-back in midweek as Tommy Spurr moved to right-back.
But Jon Otsemobor will still be sidelined with a calf injury.
Jermaine Johnson will be pushing for a start after his substitute appearance in midweek but is likely to have another game on the substitutes bench as Gary Teale and Chris Sedgwick continue their good form.
Player to watch: Neil Mellor
It may have been Clinton Morrison, and not Mellor, who got on the scoresheet in midweek, but that will make the on-loan hitman hungrier to find the back of the net and help the Owls through to the next round of the prestigious competition.
Northampton Town Team News:
The Cobblers have doubts over John Johnson with a thigh injury and Leon McKenzie with a knee injury following Tuesday’s draw at Rotherham United in midweek.
Johnson is the most likely out of the duo to get a starting place, with McKenzie likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.
Liam Davis will be available for Town following his suspension, but boss Ian Sampson could stick with Marcus Hall following his fine showing at the Don Valley Stadium in midweek.
Town snapped up Leyton Orient striker Ryan Jarvis on loan before Thursday’s loan transfer deadline and he’s expected to go straight into the Town squad for the trip to Hillsborough.
Player to watch: Andrew Holt
The Cobblers have been struggling for goals this season with Leon McKenzie, expected to miss the cup clash, leading the way with six. It means Andrew Holt, who scored in the stalemate at Rotherham in midweek, will have to step up to the mark.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 3
Northampton wins: 1
Last Time Out:
Northampton 0-2 Wednesday
The two teams haven’t met since 1977, when Wednesday ran out 2-0 winners in the ‘old Division 3.
v Carlisle (A, JPT) – 30/11/10