Wednesday return to npower League One action on Saturday when Rochdale make the trip across the Pennines to Hillsborough.
Alan Irvine’s men go into the game on the back of two thumping cup victories, in the FA Cup and JP Trophy, but will be keen to bounce back from consecutive league defeats.
Rochdale can leapfrog the Owls with three points in S6, but Wednesday will be looking to starting climbing back up the league table after slipping to tenth.
With a High Court hearing looming next week, Wednesdayites will be hoping for some on-the-pitch cheer with three crucial points.
Owls boss Alan Irvine told the official SWFC site:
‘With the results we have had in our last two games, I’m pleased the games have come when they have.
‘Ideally, I would prefer to play every Saturday and have a week in which to prepare for the next game but success in the cups means that can’t always be the case.
‘We have scored nine goals in two cup games which we are all delighted about. Now we have to take that form into the league to help us back up the table because getting promotion back to the Championship will always be the priority.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday are set to be without right-back Jon Otsemobor, who went off in the first half of the Owls’ JPT win over Hartlepool in midweek with a calf injury.
Mark Beevers is set to return in his place after being dropped in midweek, with Lewis Buxton returning to right-back and Beevers partnering Darren Purse, who is expected to be fit, in the centre of the Owls defence.
Other than that, Irvine is set to stick with the same line-up that enjoyed emphatic wins in the FA Cup and JP Trophy in the last week, with Marcus Tudgay likely to remain on the bench given the good form of Clinton Morrison and Neil Mellor in attack.
The match will come too soon for a return to action of jet-heeled winger Jermaine Johnson.
Player to watch: Neil Mellor
The on-loan striker has been on-form in the last few games, and a hat-trick in midweek will no doubt boost the confidence of the former Liverpool man. Mellor will be hoping to continue his good scoring run against ‘Dale.
Rochdale Team News:
Rochdale will be wihout goalkeeper Matty Edwards for the trip to Hillsborough.
The stopper has been suffering from a finger injury of late and won’t be passed fit for the trip across the Pennines.
Rochdale will have no further injury or suspension concerns for the trip to South Yorkshire, and the Lancastrians will be keen to bounce back from their FA Cup loss against non-league FC United of Manchester last Friday.
Former Owl Brian Barry-Murphy is set to start for the visitors.
Player to watch: Brian Barry-Murphy
Probably not the ‘key man’ as such for Saturday’s visitors, but Wednesdayites will remember Barry-Murphy from his spell with Wednesday the last time they were in this division and will be keen to see his performance for ‘Dale.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 2
ochdale wins: 0
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 3-0 Rochdale
Hillsborough, 11/08/09 – League Cup
Wednesday have only met Rochdale twice competitively – both ending in wins for the Owls – but they only met over a year ago in the League Cup when Wednesday ran out comfortable winners. A goal for Etienne Esajas and two for Jermaine Johnson saw Wednesday to the next round with ease.
v MK Dons (A) – 20/11/10
v Walsall (H) – 23/11/10