Wednesday will be looking to put their poor form form behind them and upset the form book when they travel to Southampton for the Sky-live npower League One fixture tomorrow.
The Owls have failed to win at home in over three months but have enjoyed better fortunes on their travels, winning their last two matches at Oldham and Carlisle respectively.
Owls boss Gary Megson will be looking for a hat-trick of away wins at St Mary’s, but it’ll be no easy feat against a Saints side gunning for automatic promotion this season.
Owls striker Paul Heffernan told Wednesday World:
‘It’s a boost if you know you are going to play.
‘I want to get in the team and score a few more goals but Southampton are obviously one of the best teams in the league and their position shows that.
‘I want to be part of it here, get in the team and show the manager what I can do so I can be a part of his plans.’
Saints boss Nigel Adkins told Saints Player:
‘I’ve come across Gary before, he is a successful manager, a very demanding manager who has had several football clubs and has got clubs promoted, so I am sure that is the reason why he was brought into Sheffield Wednesday
‘It will be a competitive game, maybe because of the run of results that they have had, the burden of expectation at home has been too much for them, but they have been a little bit better away from home.
‘They have an experienced team, it’s a Championship set of players there so we know that they won’t be fazed by coming to St Mary’s.
Southampton Team News:
Southampton will be without Oscar Gobern, who is suspended following his red card at Bournemouth last weekend.
The game is likely to come too soon to see Morgan Schneiderlin return from injury, while Guly and Bartosz Bialkowski will also be sidelined for the hosts.
Southampton had a rocky start to the season but have improved under the guidance of former Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins, who has guided them to fourth place in the table.
The Saints sit five points off an automatic promotion spot with games in hand, and will be looking to chalk up a vital three points against Wednesday.
Player to watch: Ricky Lambert
It goes without saying that Lambert is one of, if not the, best players in the division and he’ll be Southampton’s key man tomorrow. Lambert has a superb set-piece on him but that’s not his only strength as one of the league’s top scorers.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday added defensive duo Rob Jones and Danny Batth on-loan until the end of the season from Scunthorpe United and Wolves respectively this week, and both will be looking for debuts at St Mary’s.
Centre-back Mark Beevers is out with a fractured cheekbone, so one of the two at least is likely to come out – with the experienced Jones the more likely to take his place.
Megson has already confirmed that striker Paul Heffernan will start after he came off the bench to score in the midweek defeat against Peterborough United.
Heffernan has been warming the bench for most of the season, undeservedly, but Megson will give him a chance against the Saints, and could restructure his starting eleven to fit him in.
Player to watch: Paul Heffernan
Heffernan starts and Wednesdayites will be keen for the striker to make an impression from the off following his good showings, and goalscoring record, from the bench so far this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Saints wins: 24
Wednesday wins: 33
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 0-1 Saints
Lee Barnard’s strike just after the hour mark was enough to give Southampton all three points from their visit to Hillsborough last September.
v Dagenham & Redbridge (A) – 26/03/11
v Brentford (H) – 29/03/11