Wednesday will be looking to put a halt to their three-game losing streak with a tough trip to Crystal Palace, but Palace boss and die hard Blade Neil Warnock will only be too pleased to keep it going on Saturday.
Warnock will be desperate for the three points after his side fell to a shock home defeat to then basement club Nottingham Forest on home soil in midweek, but a victory would be even more pleasing against his old enemy.
But the Owls are equally desperate for the three-points following their lacklustre showing against Plymouth in midweek.
And with the Owls’ squad wafer thin at present, Laws could well see a point from Palace as a welcome one to stop the Owls’ current slide down the Championship table.
Owls boss Brian Laws said of the club’s plans to travel down to Palace by train:
‘The club had planned the usual travel plans for a match like this, going down to London by coach with a Friday night stopover.
‘But with the recent problems we have encountered with travel in mind the players asked to go by train which could halve the journey time from up to six hours down to around three.
‘I have to give credit to our players for the fact that they’re all willing to pay a little bit extra from their own pockets for something that could help us get a positive result.
‘I would stress that it was an initiative that came from the players and not the club insisting that they had to pay for travel to an away game.’
Crystal Palace Team News:
Palace boss Neil Warnock could well make some unforced changes to his side, especially at the back, after describing his side’s defending as ‘farcical’ in the 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in midweek.
But in attack, the Eagles have been boosted after West Brom striker Craig Beattie saw his loan deal at Selhurst Park extended until after Christmas.
Shefki Kuqi could well feature against the Owls. Despite the former Finland international falling out of favour with the Palace staff and fans alike, he’s been in decent form of late, bagging some crucial goals, and netting the consolation against Forest on Tuesday night.
Warnock will be keeping his fingers crossed over the availability of Danny Butterfield, who limped off with an injury against Forest, but apart from that Warnock has no fresh injury concerns.
Player to watch: Craig Beattie
With Beattie extending his loan deal at Palace from West Brom until after Christmas, the striker will be keen to repay Warnock from taking him by adding the goals to give Palace a crucial three points.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday boss Brian Laws is also set to make changes following a disappointing run of three defeats on the run.
And he could welcome back three first team regulars, fingers crossed, with defender Mark Beevers, midfielder James O’Connor and striker Marcus Tudgay all set to undergo late fitness tests.
On-loan Chelsea youngster Jimmy Smith sits out through suspension.
Laws will also have a headache over what striker line-up to use, with Leon Clarke, Francis Jeffers and Deon Burton all fit for a place, while Akpo Sodje is also stepping up his return to full fitness.
Frank Simek is set to be named on the bench again as he also starts his return to fitness after coming off the bench in midweek.
Player to watch: Jermaine Johnson
Wednesday will be relying on JJ to re-produce the form which saw him destroy Sheffield United, as the most dangerous attacking threat for Wednesday.
Match Facts & Stats
Palace wins: 14
Wednesday wins: 20
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 2-2 Palace
Wednesday were denied the points at a snow-soaked Hillsborough as Matt Lawrence bagged a late, late leveller. Ben Sahar had opened the scoring for the Owls before Ben Watson levelled, and Wade Small looked to have given Wednesday the three points before Lawrence’s leveller.
Palace: Speroni, Butterfield (Ertl 80), Lawrence, McCarthy, Wiggins, Watson, Derry, Carle (Djilali 67), Ifill, Moses, Beattie (Kuqi 46). Subs Not Used: Scannell, Oster.
Wednesday: Grant, Spurr, Gilbert, Wood (Simek 57), Buxton, Watson, McAllister, Esajas (Sodje 70), Johnson, Clarke, Jeffers (Burton 57). Subs Not Used: Boden, Small.
v Doncaster Rovers (H) – 08/11/08