It’s South Yorkshire derby time again for Alan Irvine and his troops as Doncaster Rovers make the trip to Hillsborough tonight.
The Owls boss will be targetting the clash as the perfect opportunity to bag one of six victories which he believes will guide Wednesday to Championship safety this term.
Wednesdayites will be keen to gain revenge for the 1-0 defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium, which put another nail in the coffin of Brian Laws’ stay as boss.
A weekend off will no doubt leave Wednesday fresh and ready for action, but Rovers’ impressive 1-0 success against Nottingham Forest will have shot their confidence sky-high for the trip to S6.
Owls boss Alan Irvine said:
‘It’s important that we have a good shape about us again; if you don’t, they’ll (Doncaster) carve you open.
‘They get a lot of players in the middle of the park. They pass the ball well, and they have a goal threat.
‘I know Billy Sharp hadn’t scored for a while but he got one against Reading recently, and he scored a good goal on Saturday.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday boss Irvine is set to stick with the same starting eleven that saw off Blackpool 2-0 a week ago, with no fresh injury or suspension concerns.
Defender Lewis Buxton and winger Jermaine Johnson are the only players who will definitely be missing for Wednesday.
Tommy Miller is also expected to miss out, although the former Sunderland and Ipswich man returned to first team trianing last week and will be pushing for a place in the squad.
Leon Clarke and Etienne Esajas will also be pushing for starting places but they’re unlikely to force their way into Irvine’s plans.
Player to watch: Luke Varney
The on-loan striker has been in top form of late and he’ll be hoping the goals continue to flow when Rovers arrive at Hillsborough. His partnership with top scorer Marcus Tugday seems to be blossoming.
Doncaster Rovers Team News:
Defender Elliott Ward is all set for his Rovers debut after arriving at the Keepmoat Stadium on a one-month loan deal from Coventry City.
Ward will slot into the centre of the Rovers defence and it’s hoped Wednesday will offer a baptism of fire for the 25-year-old.
But Jason Shackell will miss out after coming off injured in Rovers’ victory over Forest at the weekend, Sam Hird his likely replacement in defence.
Gareth Roberts is also expected to miss out through a knee injury but will undergo a late test to prove his fitness.
Dean Shiels was only fit enough for a place on the bench at the weekend and it’s unlikely he’ll get his starting place back just yet.
Player to watch: Elliott Ward
Big things were expected of the defender from a young age but Ward seems to have hit a stumbling block midway through his career. Can he re-ignite his form of old with Rovers?
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 11
Rovers wins: 3
Last Time Out:
Rovers 1-0 Wednesday
The Keepmoat Stadium, 08/12/09
Billy Sharp’s effort was enough to give Donny all three points earlier in the season and add a further nail into Brian Laws’ time as Wednesday boss.
v Ipswich Town (H) – 20/02/10