Wednesday will be looking for some pre-Christmas cheer on Saturday when out-of-sorts promotion hopefuls Watford make the trip up to Hillsborough.
The Owls have suffered a dip in form since boss Brian Laws bagged the manager of the month gong for November, but Watford’s similar slip up at the top of the table will mean Wednesday will be going in to the game looking to bag all three points.
And while the Hornets have to get back on form on the pitch, they also have to worry about Al Bangura’s future off the pitch, with the young Hornets star facing deportation.
Lee Grant told the official SWFC website:
‘I am looking forward to the Watford game. It will certainly be a game against one of the better sides in the league but we will be going into it, at home, looking to take three points. I missed out on the reverse fixture at Vicarage road so this will be a chance for me to take a look at my hometown club so it is certainly a game I am looking forward to.
‘I have some good friends there still so it should be an enjoyable game for me and it will definitely be one that my friends and family will be watching out for.
Watford skipper Jay DeMerit said:
‘The most important thing we have to remember is that there is still a long way to go.
‘We knew that the gap at the top could get close; we weren’t invincible.
‘Hopefully the fact that we’ve been knocked off our perch will give us the drive to reclaim it and we’ll start to pick up.
‘If there’s anything that will spur us on, it’s that.’
Wednesday Team News:
Frank Simek will start his long stint on the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury in a freak incident against Crystal Palace last week, with Lee Bullen set to come back in at right-back.
The injury problems keep coming for Brian Laws, with Akpo Sodje still on the sidelines and unlikely to be fit for a return for the clash with the Hornets.
But fellow striker Deon Burton could be set for a return to action after a number of weeks on the sidelines through injury, although Francis Jeffers is still out.
Player to watch: Glenn Whelan
Whelan could well be playing for a new contract – or a new club – with the transfer window fast approaching and the midfield yet to sign a new contract at Hillsborough.
Watford Team News:
The Hornets will welcome back Darius Henderson to their squad after the Doncaster-born striker had been out through injury and suspension in recent weeks.
Henderson, rumoured to be a target of the Owls over the summer, has been in good form this season and will link-up with Marlon King in the Watford attack.
Boss Aidy Boothroyd has no fresh injury concerns coming in to the game and will be wanting to get back to winning ways after West Brom took control at the top of the division.
Player to watch: Marlon King
King was priced at £60m by boss Aidy Boothroyd at the start of the season and the former Gillingham and Nottingham Forest man will be key if Watford are to make a swift return to the top flight.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 12
Watford wins: 16
Last Time Out:
Watford 2-1 Wednesday
Vicarage Road, 02/10/07
A Graham Kavanagh strike wasn’t enough for Wednesday to get anything from their return clash this term as Watford left with all three points. Marlon King and Darius Henderson bagged the goals for the hosts while Jermaine Johnson saw red late on.
Wednesday: Grant, Simek (Bullen 28), Hinds, Michael Johnson, Spurr, Whelan, Watson, Jermaine Johnson, O’Brien, Small (Esajas 90), Tudgay. Subs Not Used: Lunt, Beevers, Folly.
Watford: Lee, Doyley, Jackson, DeMerit, Stewart (Mariappa 72), Smith, O’Toole, Williamson, Ainsworth (Francis 46), King, Priskin (Ellington 65). Subs Not Used: Loach, Shittu.
V Burnley (A) – 26/12/07
V Hull City (A) – 30/12/07