Iain Dowie’s Crystal Palace are the visitors to Hillsborough this weekend in what is going to be a big test for Paul Sturrock’s men.
Paul Sturrock told the official SWFC site:
”We’ve got to be positive. Two-nil flattered them at their place. Although it’s a difficult game, it’s a winnable one.”
Wednesday Team News:
Paul Sturrock’s main worry will be the goalkeeping situation at S6. David Lucas will miss the rest of the season and Sturrock has been frantically searching for a replacement for the former PNE stopper. His search has so far been fruitless so reserve goalkeeper Chris Adamson is likely to be the man between the sticks on Saturday.
More worries for Sturrock come through the suspension of midfielder Glenn Whelen who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the victory at Millwall. Richie Partrige may at long last get his chance on the wing with Burton O’Brien moving back to his favoured central midfield role.
Owls’ player of the season Graham Coughlan will face a late fitness test on Saturday, but Sturrock will have no worries over using Drissa Diallo or Lee Bullen in the centre of defence after playing well at Millwall last week.
At the other end of the pitch the Owls are spoilt for choice, with Deon Burton, Marcus Tudgay, Leon Best, and Barry Corr all available for selection. Steve Maclean may also be included on the bench.
Player to watch: 16- Richard Wood
Hopefully we won’t be seeing too much of Woody – he’ll be marking Andy Johnson! Recently called up to Peter Taylors Football League under-21 side, Woody has come on leaps and bounds at the back playing alongside Coughlan, and deserves his place in Taylor’s eleven.
Crystal Palace Team News:
Palace will be without defensive rock Fitz Hall who is serving the second of his three game suspension after his sending off at home to Cardiff last week. Fellow defender Tony Popovic is also doubtful for the trip north after picking up a back injury.
Clinton Morrison is also likely to cause the Wednesday defence havoc after recovering from a shoulder injury. Morrison will partner Andy Johnson in attack – which is sure to be the toughest test yet for the Owls defence.
Experienced midfielder Michael Hughes will also return to the fold following his rib injury which kept him out of the cup defeat to Preston NE during the week.
Player to watch: 8 – Andy Johnson
Arguably the best striker in the division, AJ will surely be the biggest threat that the Wednesday defence have had to come against. ‘Keeper Chris Adamson will think himself unlucky to be up against arguably the best attacking partnership in the division.
Match Facts & Stats
SWFC wins: 18
CPFC wins: 13
Last Time Out
Crystal Palace 2-0 Wednesday
The 2-0 victory flattered the hosts in late September as goals from Clinton Morrison and an unfortunate Glenn Whelen own goal condemened the Owls to defeat in South London. The win would mark a change in fortunes for Palace, who made a poor start to the season.
Played For Both
Vs Coventry City (A) – 15/02/06
Vs Sheffield United (H) – 18/02/06
Vs Southampton (A) – 25/02/06