The Owls will be hoping to put the disappointment of the midweek Carling Cup drubbing by Wrexham behind them as they look forward to the first Yorkshire derby of the season in front of the Sky TV cameras this Sunday.
Kevin Blackwell brings his Leeds side down the M1 on the back of a victory against Chester in the same competition, but also on the back of two straight league defeats which leaves them below Wednesday in the current Championship table.
The Owls kick-started their campaign with victory over the Elland Road club last season, and although Wednesday have already picked up their first three points boss Paul Sturrock will be hoping to pick up a win and climb up the Championship table.
Paul Sturrock told the Owls official site:
‘Leeds’ expectation will be to come here and beat us. But we’ve shown a togetherness because of our lack of numbers. I’m very hopeful that, with our four or five players back, we’ll get the result we need.’
‘I’m not going to take a chance on the Coughlans, Burtons and O’Briens if they don’t show me they are 100 per cent fit. We need these players for the whole season.’
‘It (Wednesday night) proved that Coughlan’s leadership qualities are invaluable. Deon’s performances are so important to us. The goalie has been key to us as well and, with the freshness of Lloyd Sam, that could be five players to come in.’
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Paul Sturrock is ready to ring the changes after the humiliating 4-1 reverse against Wrexham in Wednesday night’s Carling Cup clash.
Loanee Brad Jones will return in goal for the Owls after the conditions of his loan deal meant he couldn’t take part in Wednesday night’s cup clash. Jones will replace Chris Adamson in goal who will drop to the bench.
Meanwhile, striker Deon Burton may be fit to make his first start of the season. The former Derby man wasn’t risked for the midweek match, and Owls boss Paul Sturrock has refused to risk the hitman for the Yorkshire derby but has admitted he could play a part.
There will also be late fitness tests for first-team regulars Burton O’Brien and Graham Coughlan after the pair missed the Wrexham match. The pair will be given up until kick-off to prove their fitness to the Owls boss.
Versatile Lee Bullen is available for selection again after returning from his three match suspension. It’s anyones guess where the former Owls captain will play though. Bullen could fill in on the right-wing should Burton O’Brien fail to prove his fitness or could even start up front with the current injury crisis hanging over the club.
New boy Lloyd Sam is also set to make his full debut for the Owls after arriving at Hillsborough on a months loan from Charlton Athletic. Sturrock has emphasised the winger can play as a striker and will offer the side some much-needed pace in attack.
Player to watch: Lloyd Sam
With the current lack of attacking options at Paul Sturrock’s disposal, the Charlton youth player will offer the Owls some much-needed pace in attack. Sam can play on the left-wing or as a striker and will be hoping to impress in his first match in the famous blue and white stripes.
Leeds Team News:
Meanwhile, Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell has his own problems in attack as Geoff Horsfield serves his four-match ban for his sending off at Crystal Palace. Richard Creswell is also missing from the Leeds squad through injury. The difference is, United have got Robbie Blake and David Healy available to trouble the Owls defence.
Goalkeeper Neil Sullivan is set to make his full return to league action with the Whites after the former Tottenham stopper came through the midweek Carlin Cup tie unscathed. Sullivan will replace the on-loan Tony Warner who will return to Fulham after the match.
Blackwell changed his hand quite dramatically for the midweek clash and will welcome back a number of key players to the side. Defensive trio Gary Kelly, Paul Butler and Matthew Kilgallon will return.
While in midfield new signing Seb Carole is set to start on the right wing in place of the injured Steve Stone. Stone is set to be sidelined for at least two months after picking up an injury in Leeds’ defeat to Cardiff City last weekend.
Former Sheffield United man Shaun Derry is also set to be recalled to the side after sitting out on Wednesday. Derry could be joined by Eirik Bakke in the Leeds midfield after the Norweigen impressed against Chester on Tuesday.
Player to watch: Eddie Lewis
The American is one of the best left-wingers in the league and will come up against fellow Yank Frankie Simek in front of the Sky cameras. Lewis, who played in this summer’s World Cup in Germany will hope to provide the ammunication for the Leeds strikers on Sunday.
Match Facts & Stats
Last Time Out:
Leeds United 3-0 WEDNESDAY
21/01/2006 – Elland Road
Wednesday went into the clash with promotion hopefuls Leeds on the back of some promising performances following the double signing of Deon Burton and Marcus Tudgay. And the Owls more than held their own for the opening 70 minutes and saw a chance cleared off the line before Paul Butler broke the deadlock on 70 minutes. Former Owl Richard Creswell then piled on the agony for the travelling Owls with two goals in the last 10 minutes to secure the points for the hosts.
SWFC wins: 28
LUFC wins: 33
Wednesday: Jones, Simek, Bougherra, Coughlan (McArdle 90), Spurr, Lunt (Boden 90), Whelan, O’Brien, Hills, Brunt, Small (McAllister 11).
Subs Not Used: Adamson, McClements.
Leeds United: Warner, Kelly, Butler, Kilgallon, Crainey, Westlake, Stone (Bakke 32), Derry, Lewis (Carole 85), Healy, Blake (Beckford 68).
Subs Not Used: Gregan, Richardson.
-Taken from www.bet365.com-
SWFC Win: 6/4
LUFC Win: 17/10
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