Rob Kelly’s in-form Leicester City are the visitors to Hillsborough for what looks to be caretaker boss Sean McAuley’s final game in charge at S6 – and a game McAuley will want to win after having guided Wednesday to two victories and a draw since taking charge of the first team.
Kelly himself stood in as caretaker boss for the Foxes after the sacking of Craig Levein almost a year ago – and after a rocky opening to the campaign has guided Leicester to mid-table in the Championship after a run of eight matches without defeat.
And the clash will certainly be an interesting one after the Owls have netted as many goals in their last three matches as they had in their previous 12 – while Leicester bring one of the best defensive records in the league to Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon.
Sean McAuley told the official SWFC site:
‘We want to win all our games but when we’ve got all our supporters at Hillsborough it’s important we put on a performance for them.
‘Marcus and Deon did really well on Tuesday. The fact that they linked up well together and caused a lot of problems maybe gave Steve MacLean a bit more space at the end. It possibly adds another dimension, that you can get two to run them ragged and then put a fresh one on! Drew Talbot played in the reserves and scored so all four of the strikers are looking in good form.’
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Sean McAuley will have just the one injury concern going in to the clash with the Foxes after the injury blow to Graham Coughlan in the 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.
Youngster Tommy Spurr is likely to slot in alongside Madjid Bougherra at the back after recovering from concussion picked up in the 2-2 draw at Wolves alst weekend but Lee Bullen is also an option.
Defenders Richard Wood and former Leciester player Peter Gilbert are the only other absentees with long-term injuries and are expected to return to first team action before the end of the month.
Meanwhile, on-loan Owls stopper Brad Jones plays his last game in his three-month loan at Hillsborough and Wednesday will be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper as the aussie returns to Middlesbrough after Saturday’s clash.
Player to watch: Wade Small
The former MK Dons winger has come alive in the last few games after shaking off early season injury problems to become a first-team regular. Small netted his first goal at Wolves last weekend ad ran the Crystal Palace defence ragged on Tuesday night – here’s hoping for a similar performance on Saturday afternoon!
Leicester City Team News:
Foxes boss Rob Kelly has no fresh injury concerns as he brings his in-form side up the M1 on Saturday afternoon.
Australian international Patrick Kisnorbo is still missing for City as is highly-rated youngster James Wesolowski and former Nottingham Forest midfielder Gareth Williams.
Four Foxes players are swetaing on their fitness – striker Chris O’Grady, Alan Maybury, Andy Johnson and Stephen Hughes. All will undergo late fitness tests.
Player to watch: Iain Hume
The former Wednesday target has been in hot form for the Foxes in the alst few games and will provide the biggest threat on the Owls goal. The former Tranmere man’s pace and strength is sure to cause the Wednesday defence a whole host of problems and Madjid Bougherra will need to be at his best against the tricky striker.
Match Facts & Stats
Last Time Out:
WEDNESDAY 2-1 Leicester
14th January 2006 – Hillsborough
Wednesday continued their promising early-year form as they swept aside Craig Levein’s Leicester City side at Hillsborough. A superb Richard Stearman overhead kick gave the visitors an early lead before Chris Brunt launched an unstoppable effort in to the top corner and Graham Coughlan turned the game on its head as all the goals were netted in a frantic first-half.
SWFC wins: 36
LCFC wins: 36
Wednesday: Jones; Simek, Coughlan (Bullen 86), Bougherra, Hills; Small, Lunt, Folly, Brunt; Burton (MacLean 78), Tudgay. Subs not used: Adamson, Whelan, Talbot.
Leciester: Logan, Stearman, Kenton, McCarthy, Johansson, Sylla, Hughes, Johnson, Tiatto, Hume, Hammond (Fryatt 63). Subs not used: Henderson, Welsh, Low, Maybury.
Latest Form – Last 5
-Taken from www.bet365.com-
SWFC win: 5/4
LCFC win: 9/5
Barnsley v Leeds
Burnley v Ipswich
Colchester v Cardiff
Derby v West Brom
Norwich v Sunderland
Plymouth v Birmingham
Preston v Luton
QPR v Crystal Palace
Southampton v Hull
Wolverhampton v Southend
Stoke v Coventry
Vs Ipswich Town (A) – 11/11/06
Vs Coventry City (A) – 18/11/06
Vs Cardiff City (H) – 25/11/06