WEDNESDAY will look to put their Carling Cup collapse to bed and secure their first back-to-back league wins of the season on Saturday when Scunthorpe United visit Hillsborough.
The Owls slumped to a 3-1 loss at Barclays Premier League side Blackburn in midweek, but the league is the priority and three points against the Iron will more than make up for the Ewood Park loss.
Alan Knill’s United have struggled out of the blocks so far this season, with just three points from their opening four league games. They’ll be desperate for victory, but the Glanford Park club could well have tired legs after Newcastle United took them to extra-time in the League Cup on Thursday night.
Owls captain and former Iron player Rob Jones told the official SWFC website:
‘They have got some very good players and are obviously aiming to get back into the Championship as soon as possible.
‘They haven’t got off to the best start but I’m sure they will be difficult to beat.
‘But we’re the home side and we have won all of our games at Hillsborough so far. If we play like we have been playing at home, then I’m confident we can keep up our 100 per cent record at Hillsborough.’
Scunthorpe boss Alan Knill told the official Scunthorpe website, in light of a quick turnaround of matches following Thursday’s cup clash:
‘It is a little bit like stepping into the unknown.
‘We don’t know whether it’s going to be that much of a disadvantage until we’re out on the pitch on Saturday.
‘We have to manage the situation as best as we can.
‘We will prepare on Friday as we would do for any game really. The players will come in a little bit later than normal.
‘We will give them a little bit of a rest and then we will talk to them and show them what Sheffield Wednesday are all about.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday skipper Rob Jones will be desperate to return from a nose injury to face his former club this weekend.
The defender has missed Wednesday’s last two games after sustaining a broken nose in the defeat at Bury. But he’s desperate to return to lead the Owls, especially against his former club, and will undergo a late test to prove his fitness.
If he’s not ready for a return, Reda Johnson is expected to continue at centre-back alongside Danny Batth.
Gary Megson made a number of changes to his team for the trip to Blackburn in midweek but he’ll revert to his usual league line-up this weekend, with Nicky Weaver returning in goal, and Julian Bennett, David Prutton, Jose Semedo, Clinton Morrison and Chris Lines all expected to return to the starting eleven.
Owls fans have been hoping a new striker will be in place for the visit of the Iron but that’s now unlikely, meaning Clinton Morrison and Gary Madine are likely to lead the Owls’ front line.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
There has been much debate over whether Clinton is the man to get the goals for Wednesday this season, especially in light of numerous rumours of new strikers coming to the club. Morrison netted at Blackburn in midweek and will be keen to continue his goalscoring form on Saturday.
Scunthorpe United Team News:
Scunthorpe boss Alan Knill will have to decide whether to freshen up his matchday squad for the trip to Hillsborough or stick with the side that played less than 48 hours earlier against Newcastle in the League Cup.
The Premier League side took the Iron to extra-time on Thursday night, meaning United may have some tired legs when they take on the Owls.
Michael O’Connor will definitely be missing for the Glanford Park club after sustaining a muscle strain, meaning on-loan Manchester United man Oliver Norwood could continue in his place in midfield.
Jordan Robertson, Cliff Byrne and Paul Reid all continue to be sidelined through injury
Player to watch: Bobby Grant
Grant netted twice in Scunthorpe’s 2-2 draw at Charlton Athletic the last time out in the league and will be a big danger to the Owls’ defence this weekend. The Iron came from 2-0 down at The Valley, with Grant central to their comeback.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 5
Scunthorpe wins: 5
Last Time Out:
Scunthorpe 4-2 Wednesday
Carling Cup, Glanford Park, 24/08/10
The Iron may have been a league above the Owls last season but the sides still met in the Carling Cup. Michael Collins, Chris Dagnall (2) and Michael O’Connor bagged the Iron goals, while Marcus Tudgay and Neil Mellor found the back of the net for Wednesday. Former Iron defender Richard Hinds was sent off for the visitors.
v Bradford City (A, JPT 1) – 30/08/11
v Charlton Athletic (A) – 5/8/11