Wednesday had to rely on goalkeeper Mark Crossley to net a last minute leveller against the Saints last season, but boss Brian Laws will be hoping to go one better and bag all three points this time around.
The Owls are in their best form of the season coming in to the game, being unbeaten in three matches, and will be looking to continue climbing up the table after a disastrous start.
And the Saints team that travel up the M1 this season will be a much different one to last season, with events both on and off the field affecting the club.
Brian Laws told the official SWFC site:
‘We’ve worked extremely well together for ten years and we’ve had our highs and lows.
‘We had a major low at the start of this season and that’s a time when you need the support and trust of your assistant.
‘That is something vitally important when you’re losing games. This job can be very lonely when you’re losing and the last thing you want to feel is isolated.
‘That is such a time when managers rely so much on their number two’s and Russ’ role and support to me has been crucial.’
George Burley told the official Saints website:
‘They had a poor start. They finished last season well and people were looking for them to be right up there but it didn’t happen for them – I think they lost the first six games.
‘Credit to Brian Laws who did well at Scunthorpe they’ve really picked up of late. They’ve shown they’re a good side and they had a tremendous result at West Brom getting a draw in midweek so we’re going to play a team in form at the moment but one we’ve got to try and beat.’
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Brian Laws will have a welcome selection headache ahead of the Saints visit, with experienced defender Michael Johnson expected to be fit and ready to return for the clash.
Youngster Mark Beevers joined Richard Hinds at the heart of the Wednesday defence in the superb 1-1 draw against high-flying West Brom in midwek, and Laws will have to decide on whether to shuffle his pack or stick with the same side.
But Wednesday will have no new injury problems going in to the game, with Laws likely to stick with a similar squad to that which travelled to the Hawthorns.
Player to watch: Steve Watson
The midfielder returned to the Wednesday team to net the late, late leveller against West Brom in midweek and his experience will be vital to the Owls midfield as they look to put together a winning run.
Southampton Team News:
Saints boss George Burley will have a worry over captain Wayne Thomas who picked up an Achilles injury in the midweek draw with Wolves.
Burley is set to give Thomas until the last minute to recover, and will undergo a late fitness test ahead of the trip to South Yorkshire.
But Southampton should welcome back former Sunderland and Birmingham striker Stern John, who has recovered from concussion sustained in the previous game against Charlton.
Player to watch: Grzegorz Rasiak
Southampton had gone 31 games without drawing a blank in front of goal, but since then have endured two games without a goal on the spin, and will be relying on the former Derby man for goals. Add to that the face Rasiak was subject of interest from the Owls, and the hitman is bound to score, isn’t he?
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 31
Southampton wins: 23
Last Time Out:
Southampton 2-1 Wednesday
St Mary’s Stadium, 31/01/07
Wednesday’s stuttering form continued at the St Mary’s Stadium as they fell to a 2-1 defeat, thanks to a brace from former Owls loanee Kenwyne Jones, while Steve Maclean had previously levelled.
Wednesday: Grant, Simek, Beevers, Hinds, Spurr, Jermaine Johnson (Small 68), Watson, Whelan, O’Brien (Burton 72), Sodje (Esajas 87), Tudgay. Subs Not Used: Folly, Bullen.
Southampton: Davis, Ifil, Thomas, Dailly, Davies, Dyer (Surman 56), Euell, Viafara, Skacel, Wright-Phillips (Hammill 80), Rasiak (Saganowski 64). Subs Not Used: Bialkowski, Idiakez.
V QPR (A) – 24/11/07
V Barnsley (H) – 27/11/07