Wednesday will be hoping to keep their three-match unbeaten run going as they travel to London to face another team threatened with the dreaded drop – this time in the form of John Gregory’s Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road (kick-off 3pm).
Wednesday have nothing to play for following the midweek draw against Plymouth, but Owls boss Brian Laws has already made known his feelings to finish off the season on a high and finish in the highest position possible.
But it will be a tough task against John Gregory’s men who, although not having the best season, will be fighting tooth and nail for every point until the end of the season as the look to secure their Championship status – and they’ll be keen to pick up maximum points tomorrow.
Frank Simek told the official SWFC site:
‘It is going to be another tough one, they are down there fighting for their lives as we were last year and they will do anything they can to win the game. We have to be up for the fight.
‘We have been doing well although Plymouth was a bit of a dull game with not much in it. I guarantee Saturday won’t be like that, they will be up for it and in our faces so we have to match them step for step. If we do that, we have players who can change the game.’
Marcus Bignot told the official QPR site:
‘There’s a mini league developing at the bottom between six clubs and we need to ensure we’re at the top of that league come Sunday 6th May.
‘Everyone in the scrap for survival will be singing from the same hymn sheet over the next few weeks, saying all the same things – but it’s time to stop talking the talk and walk the walk.’
QPR Team News:
Rangers will welcome back striker Dextor Blackstock to boost their attacking options after the former Southampton man served a one-match ban for the 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town at the weekend.
John Gregory has a further boost with the return of club captain Marcus Bignot to squad but Marc Bircham is still sidelined through a back injury.
Player to watch: Lee Cook
The highly-rated midfielder has had a price tag of £10 million put on him by the Hoops – and although some may feel the tag is overpriced – Cook will certainly be the biggest threat to the Owls defence on Saturday, and Frank Simek will have to be at his best to deal with the midfielder. Scouts have only taken notice of Cook this season, where he’s scored three goals in 31 appearances for the Hoops – but the QPR fan made the trip to Rangers from Watford in 2004.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday boss Brian Laws will welcome back in-form striker Marcus Tudgay to the squad after serving a one-match ban in midweek – and Laws is likely to bring him back to fray alongside Deon Burton in the Wednesday attack, although Steve Maclean will be pushing for his continued inclusion after netting in midweek.
The only major worry for the Owls is the abscence of winger Jermaine Johnson who will miss out through injury, and could miss the midweek visit of Colchester. Laws has acted quickly to promote young talent Rocky Lekaj to the first team and is likely to be on the bench while Wade Small moves in to the starting eleven.
Graham Coughlan will remain on compassionate leave until Monday, allowing Richard Wood to continue his progression back to peak fitness after featuring in the Owls’ last two matches, while Peter Gilbert is also fit to return.
Player to watch: Chris Brunt
The Owls winger will be hoping to repeat his exploits of a 40-yard lob as he makes the first trip away from home following his superb strike in the 3-2 victory at Leeds. The Northern Irish winger has added more consistency to his game, and it’s paying dividends as he’s one of the leading scoring midfielders in the league.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday 3-2 QPR – 21/10/06, Hillsborough.
Wednesday’s first match without Paul Sturrock at the helm ended in success as caretaker boss Sean McAuley led the Owls to a 3-2 victory over the hoops on home soil thanks to a brace from Marcus Tudgay and a Steve Maclean penalty. Dexter Blackstock replied with two neat strikes but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat for the Loftus Road club.
QPR wins: 17
Wednesday wins: 25
QPR: Camp, Mancienne, Cullip, Stewart, Timoska, Rowlands, Bolder, Lomas (Smith 82), Ainsworth (Furlong 63), Cook, Ray Jones. Subs Not Used: Cole, Moore, Kanyuka.
Wednesday: Turner, Bullen, Wood, Simek, Spurr, Whelan, Brunt, Watson, Johnson (Small 69), MacLean, Burton (Graham 72). Subs Not Used: Adamson, Lunt, Gilbert.
Birmingham v Derby
Barnsley v Sunderland
Cardiff v Norwich
Colchester v Coventry
Crystal Palace v Leicester
Hull v Preston
Ipswich v Southend
Leeds v Luton
QPR v Sheff Wed
Stoke v Southampton
Wolves v West Brom
Vs Colchester (H) – 13/03/07
Vs Wolves (H) – 17/03/07
Vs Crystal Palace (A) – 31/03/07
Vs Cardiff City (A) – 07/04/07