Another week, another cup final for the Owls as they look to once again pull themselves out of the Championship bottom three as promotion-chasing Crystal Palace visit S6 on Saturday.
Wednesday have enjoyed improved form of late, losing just once in their last seven games, but they’ll face a difficult task this weekend as Neil Warnock returns to Sheffield looking to bag vital points at the right end of the table for his Palace troops.
Warnock has been quoted as saying he hopes the Owls survive this season, and that he believes they will, but I’m sure deep down he’d love nothing more than getting one over on the blue and white half of the city and doing no harm to his troops’ promotion bid.
Owls boss Brian Laws told the official SWFC site:
‘I know everyone is saying we have three home games on the bounce but I really want to concentrate on one game at a time because before you know it, you can take your eye off the ball and then you’re in trouble. You can’t plan too far ahead.
‘We all recognise the position that we’re in and as a result of that, every game becomes bigger than the last one, and none more so than Crystal Palace.’
Palace boss Neil Warnock told the Yorkshire Post:
‘Despite the stick I will get on Saturday, I am looking forward to it. And although they might think otherwise, I do want Wednesday to stay up.
‘It is better for Sheffield football to have both clubs as high up the leagues as possible and I think Wednesday will stay up.’
Wednesday Team News:
The main worry for Owls boss Laws is his strike pairing, with Marcus Tudgay likely to miss out having picked up an injury in training this week.
Enoch Showunmi could step up to the plate having scored a brace in the 2-2 draw in the reserve match with Leeds in midweek, while Ben Sahar could also make his first start for the club having extended his loan from Chelsea for another month.
Other than that, Laws has no new concerns following the 0-0 draw with Coventry, and could be boosted with a shock return from Frank Simek or Steve Watson who both made it through the midweek reserve match unscathed.
Player to watch: Deon Burton
The Jamiacan hitman has come in for some stick in recent works, but will need to put in one of his games of the season with Tudgay out on the sidelines. A similar performance to that of against QPR will do nicely, thanks very much…
Crystal Palace Team News:
Palace boss Warnock is set to receive a boost with the news that former Birmingham man Neil Danns is all set to return to first team action following a month on the sidelines.
Danns featured for the Palace reserves in midweek after suffering a groin problem and is expected to be part of the squad to travel up to Sheffield.
Defender Tony Craig is also fit and available for selection once again after recovering from shoulder surgery but former Blade Paul Ifill is doubtful with an ankle knock.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
Morrison may not be in the form he showed in the last few seasons but will still be key in helping Palace achieve a top-six finish – starting on Saturday at Hillsborough.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 20
Palace wins: 14
Last Time Out:
Palace 2-1 Wednesday
Selhurst Park, 15/12/2007
Richard Hinds gave Wednesday the early advantage against Neil Warnock’s Palace, but it was the former Blades manager who had the last laugh as goals from Clinton Morrison and a last-minute Sean Scannell strike gave Palace all three points.
Wednesday: Grant, Hinds, Beevers, Wood, Spurr, Songo’o (O’Brien 65), Kavanagh, McAllister, Small, Tudgay (Showunmi 77), Burton (Bolder 83). Subs Not Used: Burch, Gilbert.
Palace: Speroni, Lawrence, Hudson, Fonte, Hill, Soares, Watson, Derry, Scannell (Robinson 86), Scowcroft, Morrison (Kudjodji 90). Subs Not Used: Fletcher, Hughes, Hills.
v Stoke City (H) – 29/03/08
v Coventry City (H) – 01/04/08