Wednesday look to bounce back from two disappointing defeats when they make the trip to Reading for yet another proverbial six pointer in the battle against relegation.
The Royals enjoyed FA Cup success at West Brom in midweek but it’s unknown whether their extra-time win will be an advantage to the Owls or their hosts at the Madjeski Stadium.
Reading have often performed above where their league position suggests, but they’re down at the bottom for a reason and Alan Irvine and his men will be looking to bring their hosts firmly back down to earth following their Baggies win.
Alan Irvine told the official SWFC website:
‘It’s a huge game, there is no question about that given where the two teams are in the table. But even without that it’s a massive game for us anyway.
‘I said that every game was a huge game when we had 23 games to go, so with 14 to play nothing has changed.
‘Obviously we know that with each game that passes, we need to be that little bit closer to the target we have set. I said that we needed 11 wins out of 23 games, we now need six out of 14.
‘It is a six-pointer, there is no doubt about it and if we win we’ll feel great, if we lose we’ll be extremely disappointed because it will be one game less to reach the target we have set.’
Reading boss Brian McDermott told the official Reading website:
‘We love playing at home, our home form is very, very good and we’ve not lost here in 2010. It’s good to be back after three tough away games.’
Reading Team News:
Reading are appealing against the sending-off of winger Jobi McAnuff in their midweek extra-time FA Cup win at West Brom.
If unsuccessful, the former Watford man will miss the trip to Hillsborough despite it coming just days after his dismissal against the Baggies.
Suspension will also hit striker Shane Long, who misses out through a ban, while Jem Karacan and Kalifa Cisse, who netted in the win at Hillsborough earlier in the season, are also out.
Player to watch: Brian Howard
The former Sheffield United and Barnsley man will no doubt be in for a bit of stick from the travelling Wednesdayites, but his midfield qualities and set-piece taking will give the Owls’ defence all kinds of problems.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday boss Alan Irvine could ring the changes following the poor 1-0 home loss against Ipswich Town last weekend.
New loan signing Eddie Nolan, who has arrived at S6 on loan until the end of the season from Preston North End, could get his debut for the Owls in defence.
Irvine will have to decide whether Tommy Spurr or Frank Simek gets the boot should Nolan be slotted in at full-back.
Defenders Darren Purse and Lewis Buxton remain sidelined through injury.
But Jermaine Johnson and Francis Jeffers will both be putting their hands up for a place in the squad after returning to training this week.
Player to watch: Marcus Tudgay
Although the Owls top scorer, Tudgay has not reached the form of last year yet and Wednesday will need him to be at the top of his game to breakthrough the Reading defence on their own soil.
Match Facts & Stats
Reading wins: 6
Wednesday wins: 5
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 0-2 Reading
Second-half strikes from Grzegorz Rasiak and Kalifa Cisse were enough to give Reading all three points in the reverse fixture at Hillsborough earlier in the season.
v Leicester City (H) – 06/03/10