Paul Sturrock will be celebrating his second anniversary in charge of the Owls by going all-out to secure Wednesday’s first three points on home soil of the season against Deeby County on Saturday.
The Owls’ disappointing home form has left the club one place above the relegation zone, and although it’s only early days in the Coca-Cola Championship, the Owls boss knows he needs to sort the clubs home form out sooner rather than later.
Billy Davies’ Derby haven’t done much better, finding themselves just two points better off than Wednesday, but with an away record that is one of the best in the league so far this season.
Paul Sturrock told the official SWFC site:
‘Expectations will have shot up 300% after the Doncaster game. It will be a real tussle, like all the other games so far this season. They’ll come wanting to win, wanting to score goals, but we just need that win and all of a sudden we’re on the front foot.’
Marcus Tudgay told the official SWFC site:
‘It’ll be a good day for me. It’s my old club but obviously I’ve left there now and it’s my job to get the win for Sheffield and to score the goals. We have got to go about our jobs right and that means going out there and doing everything we’ve been working on all week and get the win.
‘Hopefully I can carry it on and do my job, which is to score goals. ‘I’ve not played many reserve games so I’m trying to get my fitness in the games. But I feel good. Obviously I can still be fitter but I’ll keep working hard off the pitch and while I’m on the pitch too.’
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Paul Sturrock has received a big boost ahead of the clash with the Rams by learning strikers Steve Maclean, Drew Talbot and Barry Corr are returned to training with the rest of the first team this week. The latter two are doubtful of a place in Saturday’s squad, but Steve Maclean could be included on the bench.
Owls loanee Lloyd Sam is set to play his final match of his one-month loan from Charlton Athletic on Saturday. Sam will start out wide for the Owls and could remain at the club for a further two months as talks remain on-going between Sturrock and chairman Dave Allen about a possible extension.
Strikers Deon Burton and Marcus Tudgay are likely to line-up against their former club for the first time at Hillsborough. Both strikers featured in the Owls 2-1 win over the Rams at Pride Park on the final day of alst season, with Tudgay netting, but neither have played against them at Hillsborough.
Winger Chris Brunt could earn a recall to the side after being dropped to the bench for last Friday’s clash with Hull City. Despite getting criticism from a section of Owls fans, Brunt impressed in the final half hour at the KC Stadium and could replace Burton O’Brien.
Meanwhile, Wade Small, Peter Gilbert, Richard Wood, John Hills and Yoann Folly all remain sidelined.
Player to watch: Marcus Tudgay
Although just coming back from injury and playing three games in six days, Tudgay will have had time to recover and prepaer himself for the clash with his former club. He netted agaiinst them last time out and will be desperate to do so again in front of the Wednesday faithful, to get the Owls season kick-started.
Derby County Team News:
Derby boss Billy Davies will be without the services of Arsenal youngster Arturo Lupoli after the loanee was sent-off in the Rams’ penalty shoot-out defeat to Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday night. Former Sheffield United striker Paul Peschisolido is likely to partner former Owls target Steve Howard in attack.
Meanwhile, Davies is likely to recall a number of first team players who were rested at Belle Vue on Wednesday. Stephen Bywater, Marc Edworthy, Dean Leacock, Michael Johnson and Morten Bisgaard are all likely to return to first team action.
Player to watch: Steve Howard
The former Luton Town hitman was once a target of Wednesday, and Owls fans will be hoping his form against Wednesday comes to an end on Saturday afternoon. Although Howard took a while to find his feet with the Rams, he’s netted three in his last three matches and will be looking to continue that form at Hillsborough.
Match Facts & Stats
Last Time Out:
Derby County 0-2 WEDNESDAY
30th April 2006 – Pride Park
Wednesday celebrated their survival in the Championship with a comfortable victory over a relatively poor Derby County side. Marcus Tudgay marked his return to the club where he grew up with a goal, and loanee Leon best secured the points, in front of stand-in boss Kevin Summerfield, in the final minutes in front of over 5,000 travelling Wednesdayites.
SWFC wins: 41
DCFC wins: 39
Wednesday: Jones, Simek, Coughlan, Bougherra, Spurr (Brunt 69), Sam (Bullen 69), Whelan, Adams (Lunt 45), O’Brien, Burton, Tudgay.
Subs Not Used: Adamson, McAllister.
Derby County: Bywater, Edworthy (Barnes 63), Leacock, Michael Johnson, Camara, Bisgaard (Peschisolido 82), Oakley, Bolder, Malcolm, Lupoli, Howard.
Subs Not Used: Seth Johnson, Moore, Nyatanga.
-Taken from www.bet365.com-
SWFC Win: 13/10
DCFC Win: 7/4
Preston v Barnsley
Burnley v Southampton
Crystal Palace v Coventry
Ipswich v Sunderland
Leeds v Birmingham
Leicester v Colchester
Luton v West Brom
Plymouth v Norwich
QPR v Hull
Wolverhampton v Stoke
Southend United v Cardiff City
Vs Sunderland (A) – 30/09/2006
Vs Barnsley (H) – 14/10/2006
Vs Colchester United (A) – 18/10/2006