Date: 22nd August 2008 at 4:52pm
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Wednesday will be looking to bounce back from their hammering at Wolves last week when in-form Preston North End travel to Hillsborough this weekend.

The Owls came crashing back down to earth following their opening day 4-1 success over Burnley when they suffered defeat by the same scoreline at Molineux last week.

And although Wednesday showed signs of an impressive attack, despite their injury crisis up front, they’ll need to greatly improve this weekend as they take on a Preston side that have won both their opening Championship games.

Vital Quotes:

Brian Laws told the official SWFC site:

‘Our preparations have been going very well for the Preston game and while we were disappointed with the result at Wolves last week we have all worked hard to put right what went wrong in that second half against Wolves.

Chris Sedgwick told the official PNE site:

‘Like us last year, they had a terrible start last year and they will have been pleased to get some points and win on the board in the first week,’ he continued. ‘By all accounts they were also the better side in the first half last week at Wolves. It is always a tough game when you go to Hillsborough and I doubt it will be any different on Saturday.

‘It is very beneficial to know about your opposition via the video work we do. You know the oppositions’ strengths and weaknesses and you know who you are going to be coming up against – what they are good at and not so good at. It also plants a seed into your mind so you are not going into a game thinking ‘I didn’t know they were going to do that’.’

‘We were excellent in the first half at Wolves and having spoken to a few managers who had us watched in that game they couldn’t believe how well we played. That tells us that we got a lot right but there were a few things that were wrong too so that’s what we have been working on this week so that come Saturday we won’t have the same problems we did in the second half.’

Wednesday Team News:

Owls boss Brian Laws will give a debut to new loan signign Tony McMahon who arrived at Hillsboorough this week from Middlesbrough following the news that Richard Hinds will be sidelined for three months.

There could also be a surprise return for Marcus Tudgay, who was set to be out until next week’s visit to Swansea, although with Deon Burton returning from international duty, and a lack of other options for the Owls boss, Tudgay could well return to the squad.

Etienne Esajas was taken off at half-time in the defeat to Wolves last week, but Owls fans will be pleased to know that the in-form Dutchman will be ready to start on Saturday.

Francis Jeffers, Frank Simek, Akpo Sodje, Wade Small and Richard Hinds are all out.

Player to watch: Etienne Esajas

The Dutchman has been one of the few plus points in the last couple of games after his sparkling performance and double strike in the Carling Cup clash with Rotherham, and his performance and opening goal in the first half against Wolves last week.

Preston NE Team News:

Left-back Callum Davidson is the only major doubt for PNE after the Scotsman limped out of last week’s victory over Crystal Palace with a knee injury, which is more than likely set to see him on the sidelines this weekend.

But Preston will have no other injury concerns going in to the match as they look to make it three wins from their opening three Championship matches of the season.

Striker Chris Brown, goalkeeper Wayne Henderson and defenders Liam Chilvers and Neal Trotman remain sidelined.

Player to watch: Neil Mellor

The former Liverpool frontman, linked with a move to the Owls in previous seasons, will be keen to remain injury free this season and enjhoy a superb goalscoring record.

Match Facts & Stats


Wednesday wins: 37
Preston wins: 39
Draws: 20

Last Time Out:

Wednesday 2-1 Preston

Hillsborough, 01/01/2008

Wednesday kicked off 2008 with a vital win at home to Preston on New Year’s Day, Hawley opened the scoring for the visitors before goals from Akpo Sodje and Francis Jeffers saw Wednesday come from behind to claim all three points.

Next Fixtures:

v Swansea City (A) – 30/08/08

v Watford (H) – 13/09/08