Wednesday come up against an old foe at Selhurst Park on Saturday, as die-hard Blade Neil Warnock gears his new-look Crystal Palace up to get one over on the Owls.
Palace have found a new lease of life under the former Blades boss, and although not setting the world alight just yet, the Eagles will provide tough opposition for the Owls, who don’t have many happy memories in South London.
Brian Laws told the Sheffield Star:
‘Not only do Palace have a team that is certainly starting to perform, they also have Neil Warnock, who dislikes Sheffield Wednesday inten-sely.
‘He’ll probably be working harder than for most games to try to stuff us. He’s made it very clear he’s a Blade, through and through.
‘Anything that puts a negative against Sheffield Wednesday, he’ll be happy to do it; we have to be aware of that and make sure it doesn’t happen.’
Neil Warnock told the Croydon Guardian:
‘Playing against Wednesday means more to you when you are manager of Sheffield United because it is a derby.
‘To me, Saturday will be another game. I am sure I will get a nice reception from the Wednesday supporters on Saturday like I did from the Barnsley fans at the weekend – but it is all good banter.
‘A lot of my friends are Wednesday fans so we always have a bit of a laugh on occasions like this.’
Crystal Palace Team News:
Jose Fonte is the biggest threat for Palace boss Warnock, and is unlikely to make the starting eleven but could feature on the bench for the Eagles.
Former Manchester City and Blackburn hitman Paul Dickov has returned to training following an injury that wasn’t as bad as first feared, but Paul Ifill (abductor), Tony Craig (shoulder) and Mark Kennedy (achilles) are still unfit.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
The former Birmingham striker had lost his scoring touch of late, but Warnock’s arrival at Selhurst Park has seen the Republic of Ireland international start finding the back of the net once again, and is sure to be keen to continue that at the weekend.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday have no fresh injury concerns going in to the clash with the Eagles, although there are still a number of doubts with Owls’ attacking line-up.
Akpo Sodje and Deon Burton are both likely to need last-minute fitness checks ahead of the clash, with Wade Small on stand-by for an attacking role should the duo fail to recover.
Player to watch: Jermaine Johnson
Wednesday will be in desperate need for some attacking flair with a number of knocks and injuries in their attacking line-up, and Johnson will need to be at the top of his game to lead the Owls’ front line.
Match Facts & Stats
Palace wins: 13
Wednesday wins: 20
Last Time Out:
Palace 1-2 Wednesday
Selhurst Park, 31/03/07
Wednesday grabbed all three points on their march towards the play-offs, as Marcus Tudgay hit the winner with five minutes to go. Deon Burton had opened the scoring for Wednesday while Clinton Morrison was on target for the hosts.
Palace: Speroni, Butterfield, Hudson, Hill, Lawrence, Songo’o (Scannell 54), Derry, Watson, Soares (Fletcher 77), Scowcroft (Hills 85), Morrison. Subs Not Used: Freedman, Martin.
Wednesday: Grant, Bullen, Hinds, Beevers, Spurr, Jermaine Johnson, Folly, Whelan, O’Brien, Small (Esajas 85), Sodje (Tudgay 28). Subs Not Used: Burch, Lunt, Boden.
V Watford (H) – 22/12/07
V Burnley (A) – 26/12/07