Wednesday welcome one of the country’s richest club to Hillsborough on what’s sure to be a chilly night at S6 when Queens Park Rangers make the trip on Tuesday night.
But although the riches Rangers have differ greatly to the saving in the Wednesday piggy bank, the Owls only trail the Loftus Road club by three points and can move level with them with victory over the R’s.
The Owls will go into the game full of confidence following a so far mini revival which has seen them bag two wins and a draw from their last three outings.
Rangers also come into the clash in hot form with three games unbeaten, the latest being the 1-0 home victory over leaders Wolves at the weekend.
Owls boss Brian Laws told the Sheffield Star:
‘The message I’ve given to the players is ‘look at the facts; we’re four points off; you shouldn’t be ashamed to think you have a perfectly good opportunity.
‘We need to have a bit of luck. We need to have everybody fit. But you should set your targets high. Nobody is going to shoot you down for having a go.’ ‘
R’s manager Paulo Sousa told the official QPR site:
‘The team has a great intensity to it at home, but it needs to replicate that away from home as well. Against Palace we did very well.
‘For 60 minutes we controlled the game and that’s not easy against a team like Palace. We had the better opportunities to win the game and we haven’t scored on the road for a while, but we are always working on that and we will score eventually.
‘Through hard work, we will achieve our targets and one immediate target is to score away from home. I think we are doing the most important thing already and that is creating chances and again you will see that in the next match.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday have no fresh injury or suspension concerns for the visit of the R’s, while Steve Watson will boost manager Brian Laws’ options going into the clash.
Right-back Frank Simek will continue in defence after being recalled to the starting line-up following injury and the return of Tony McMahon to Middlesbrough.
The only selection problem for Laws will be whether to give recent loan signing Bartosz Slusarski his full debut since returning to S6, but with Leon Clarke and Francis Jeffers in fine form the Polish hitman may have to make do with a place on the bench.
Player to watch: Marcus Tudgay
The former Derby hitman has been in consistent form this season and he’ll be looking to continue that tonight, with more goals to fire the Owls to victory against Rangers.
QPR Team News:
QPR have struggled to find the back of the net on their travels this season, failing to score since September on the road, something the R’s will be looking to put an end to tonight.
But they may well have to do that without the services of tricky hitman Dexter Blackstock, who was forced off with a back injury in the 1-0 win over Wolves at the weekend.
But the R’s will add some steel to their defence with the return of former Oldham and Crystal Palace defender Fitz Hall from a three-game suspension.
Player to watch: Lee Cook
The former Fulham man has recently signed a permanent deal to return to Loftus Road and will no doubt be hoping to turn in the performance to help himself, and Rangers, to a swift return to the top flight after enjoying a taste with the Cottagers.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 26
QPR wins: 17
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 2-1 QPR
Damien Delaney had given the R’s an early lead the last time the two teams met, but goals from Graham Kavanagh and Deon Burton gave Wednesday all three points in March.
Wednesday: Grant, Simek, Wood, Beevers, Buxton, Tudgay, O’Connor, McAllister, Esajas (Small 79), Jeffers (Slusarski 70), Clarke. Subs Not Used: O’Donnell, Smith, Spurr.
QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Delaney, Stewart, Gorkss, Ephraim, Mahon, Rowlands, Blackstock (Cook 27), Helguson (Tommasi 77), Agyemang, Cook (Di Carmine 90). Subs Not Used: Cole, Borrowdale.
v Bristol City (H) – 13/12/08
v Cardiff City (A) – 20/12/08