WEDNESDAY kick-off their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy campaign at home against League One opposition in the shape of Notts County at Hillsborough tomorrow (kick-off 7.45pm).
The competition may not be too high on Wednesdayites’ importance list this season but the competition dangles the carrot of a Wembley final appearance and gives the chance for the Owls to continue their good run of form so far this season.
Owls boss Alan Irvine will no doubt ring the changes for the clash against County but he’ll also be keen to carry some winning momentum into Sunday’s league clash at Brentford.
Owls boss Alan Irvine told the official SWFC website:
‘They (County) didn’t start so well, the first couple of games they were quite soundly beaten. But they have had some good results since then, including a very good win away at Watford in the Carling Cup so they will be feeling confident.
‘I am sure they will come to Hillsborough looking forward to the game and feeling that they can build on recent results.
‘They have a good sized squad and a lot of experience within that squad of not only this level but higher levels and it will be a tough game.
‘Interestingly, they will probably turn up with a team where Sheffield Wednesday fans will recognise more names than some teams we have played so far.’
Wednesday Team News:
Irvine is set to name a side that will mirror that Owls’ League Cup starting eleven.
The rules of the JPT competition mean the Owls boss must play sic of his regular first team players, but it means the other five are likely to change.
Striker Clinton Morrison is likely to get more game time as he continues his fight for full fitness, while Paul Heffernan could also get another shot in attack.
Giles Coke is likely to be rested, meaning a possible return for James O’Connor, while defenders Jon Otsemobor and Daniel Jones are both expected to be given starting roles.
The game will come too early for Jermaine Johnson though, who remains sidelined, although youngster Liam Palmer could be given another chance to shine in front of the Hillsborough crowd.
Tommy Miller could be given a start after he was used as a substitute in the victory over Hartlepool at the weekend.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
Morrison will no doubt be eager for regular first team starts but he’ll use the JPT tie to get a run-out to improve his fitness levels and also, hopefully, add a few goals to push for a starting place sooner rather than later.
Notts County Team News:
County boss Craig Short has already said that he’ll make a number of changes to the side that drew 3-3 against Bournemouth at the weekend.
Former Wednesday stopper Rob Burch is set to get a start after recovering from a toe injury, and will be desperate for a good showing against his former home support.
But defender Stephen Hunt is definitely ruled out with a hamstring injury and midfielder Neal Bishop isn’t likely to be risked as he recovers from a foot injury.
Player to watch: Rob Burch
The former Wednesday goalkeeper is set to return to action tomorrow and will no doubt be keen to show Wednesdayites just what they’ve missed since he was swiftly moved on from S6.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 28
Notts County wins: 20
Last Time Out:
Notts County 0-0 Wednesday
Meadow Lane, 12/04/04
Let’s hope tomorrow night’s encounter is a tad more exciting than the last time the two side’s men, a 0-0 stalemate at Meadow Lane. Nothing of note to report on here…
v Brentford (A) – 05/09/10