ALAN Irvine and his Wednesday troops will be looking for their third win on the spin on Saturday against a Peterborough United side propping up the Championship table.
It’s Irvine’s first game in charge of the Owls on home soil, and it’s his most important yet, with the game being tagged a proverbial relegation ‘six pointer’.
The game’s arguably a more important one for Posh, who now sit adrift at the bottom of the league table, and defeat for them could all-but seal their fate, despite having half the season left to run.
Wednesday Team News:
Striker Luke Varney is set to go straight into Alan Irvine’s squad after the Scot brought the former Charlton and Crewe man back to S6 on a loan deal until the end of the season from Derby County.
Varney is likely to replace any role Irvine had planned for Jermaine Johnson, who picked up a hamstring injury in the midweek victory over Blackpool and is expected to be out for at least a month.
The new boss could opt for two main strikers with the Owls returning to home soil.
That could well mean a start for Leon Clarke, who netted the second and decisive goal at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night, despite only returning to full training at the start of the week.
It’s unlikely Irvine will make any other changes following his good start as Owls boss.
Richard Hinds, Francis Jeffers and Tommy Miller remain sidelined through injury.
The clash with Posh will be Tom Soares last game for his current loan spell, although Wednesday could begin talks with Stoke City over extending his deal.
Player to watch: Mark Beevers
It’s rare that we highlight a defender as the player to watch, but Beevers performances in the last two games have been a marked improvement. He, along with the rest of the Owls squad, will be hoping to keep a clean sheet on home soil for the first time under Irvine.
Peterborough United Team News:
Peterborough United will have problems at the back for their vital clash to S6.
Both defenders Ryan Bennett and Craig Morgan were sent off in Peterborough’s 3-0 defeat against Derby County and will sit out Saturday’s game through suspension.
Gabriel Zakuani is also still out injured, so that could mean midfielder Charlie Lee filling it at centre-back alongside Exodus Geohaghon.
New signings Kerrea Gilbert, Reuben Reid, Jake Livermore and Izale Mcleod are all set to keep the places, despite the poor team performance in the defeat against the Rams last time out.
Player to watch: Reuben Reid
The former Rotherham United man caused Wednesday all kinds of problems on his last visit to Hillsborough when the Millers knocked the Owls out of the League Cup, and he’ll be looking for a similar performance this time to help Posh to vital league points.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 7
Posh wins: 3
Last Time Out:
Posh 1-1 Wednesday
London Road, 15/08/09
James O’Connor’s first-half goal looked to be putting Wednesday on course for their first three points of the season at London Road earlier this term. But Craig Mackail-Smith’s 61st minute strike rescued a point for the hosts.
v Scunthorpe United (A) – 27/01/10
v Plymouth Argyle (H) – 30/01/10