Date: 3rd December 2007 at 5:52pm
Written by:

It seems like only yesterday that Wednesday enjoyed their biggest win of the season as they smashed a famous five by Southampton at Hillsborough.

But Brian Laws men are sure to endure a tougher test against a Saints side who will be desperate to avenge what boss George Burley called his ‘lowest point in football’ as they look to find some form and climb up the Championship table.

Saints come in to the clash on the back of an impressive 2-1 victory at Leicester City at the weekend while Wednesday come in suffering their first defeat in seven games, and not having a good record on the south coast.

Vital Quotes:

Owls boss Brian Laws told the official SWFC site following the weekend defeat to Colchester:

‘I still felt we could get back in it from 2-0 down and I am disappointed. It is the poorest performance we have had for a while. I can forgive players for having a poor performance but there were too many today. We need to regroup, get back on track and try to put another run together.’

Saints’ Jhon Viafara said on the November thrashing at S6:

‘I understand the supporters can feel disappointed because we have failed with some embarrasing results recently this season.

‘For that I apologise to the Saints fans. We are very sorry.

‘You all pay to watch your team and play a good game and if possible get a win. You are paying to us in order to do that job for you.

‘I just trust this is only an awfully bad moment that will finish quite soon and we will work harder to sort it out.’

Southampton Team News:

Southampton may have picked up an impressive win over Leicester at the weekend but it didn’t come without its setbacks, as defender Phil Ifil limped out with an ankle injury.

The defender is definately out of the clash with the Owls and is set for a fortnight at least on the sidelines.

Claus Lundekvam and Chris Makin plus Alexander Ostlund, Darren Powell and Wayne Thomas are all long-term casualties for George Burley and will be missing, while Jhon Viafara is a doubt.

Player to watch: Kelvin Davies

Strange choice maybe following his poor performance against the Owls last time out, but he’ll be desperate to improve for the return fixture after his nightmare at S6.

Wednesday Team News:

Wednesday boss Brian Laws will welcome back Yoann Folly to the squad after the Frenchman was left out of the squad at the weekend due to an illness in his family.

Glenn Whelan deputised for the midfielder after recovering from injury, and the Owls boss will have to decide on whether to stick to his guns or recall Folly.

It may be too early for loanee Michael Johnson to return to the side after he missed on Saturday, but the experienced defender will undergo a late fitness test, Mark Beevers will continue at the back if not.

But Wednesday have no fresh injury concerns after the shock defeat to the U’s on Saturday.

Player to watch: Akpo Sodje

The striker has been in hot form for the Owls, netting five goals in six games of late, and will want to continue that form down on the south coast.

Match Facts & Stats

Head-To-Head:

Southampton wins: 23
Wednesday wins: 32
Draws: 22

Last Time Out:

Wednesday 5-0 Southampton

Hillsborough – Saturday 10th November

It was the Akpo Sodje show as Saints ‘keeper Kelvin Davies endured a horror show in a five-star Wednesday performance. Sodje bagged a brace, while Glenn Whelan also hit two and Burton O’Brien completed the scoring.

Current Form:

Southampton: W-L-W-L-D

Wednesday: L-W-D-W-D

Previous Line-Ups:

Saints: Davis, Wright-Phillips, Davies, Bennett, Ifil, Safri, Wright, Surman, Dyer (Hammill 85), John, Euell. Subs Not Used: Bialkowski, Saganowski, Rasiak, Mettomo.

Owls: Grant, Hinds, Simek, Beevers, Spurr, Whelan, O’Brien (Esajas 71), Watson, Jermaine Johnson, Sodje, Tudgay (Small 63). Subs Not Used: Bullen, Lunt, Burch.

Next Fixtures:

V Coventry City (H) – 08/12/07

V Crystal Palace (A) – 15/12/07

V Watford (H) – 22/12/07