With the Owls just two points from the drop zone, every match will be a cup final until the end of the season – starting with this Saturday’s visit of Preston North End to Hillsborough…
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Paul Sturrock is likely to keep a similar squad to that of the 1-1 draw with QPR last week, after struggling to bring in any extra additions to the squad ahead of the visit of PNE.
New loan signings Scott Carson and Mikkel Bischoff are likely to keep their places after completing their first week in training with their team-mates. Bischoff was forced off before the end of the draw with QPR last week due to match fitness, but is hopeful of getting through the full 90 minutes this time around.
John Hills and Steve Maclean are looking to get back in to the squad after recovering from injuries. Hill was expected to return last week but was given an extra week to recover by Sturrock. Strike duo Marcus Tudgay and Deon Burton both performed well last week though, so Maclean may have to settle for a place on the bench.
Richie Partridge and Craig Rocastle will both be pushing for recalls after performing well and scoring a goal a piece in the 2-0 reserve team victory over Oldham in midweek.
Long-term absentees Jon-Paul McGovern and Steve Adams are both making good progress from serious injuries but are unlikely to make the squad.
Player to watch: Deon Burton
Makes a change from Chris Brunt – who has performed well below par lately. Burton produced a man of the match performance against QPR last week and also bagged his first goal for the club which will fill him with confidence. Hopefully that will trigger a goal haul for the former Derby man, which Wednesday are desperately lacking at the moment.
PNE Team News:
Preston manager Billy Davis was rocked in midweek with the news that highly rated striker David Nugent will miss the rest of the season. The highly rated former Bury man scored 2 goals in their win against Ipswich in midweek but picked up an injury late in the game and will miss the rest of the campaign. Patrick Agyemang and Brett Ormerod are both in-line for a call-up to partner Danny Dichio up front.
Midfielder Brian O’Neil has returned to light training for the whites after suffering a broken wrist and could feature at the weekend.
PNE are still missing Adam Nowland with a broken leg, Andy Smith with a knee injury, and Andy Lonergan with a knee injury, but Joe Anyinsah has resumed to light training after suffering a hamstring injury – but is unlikely to feature for the whites.
Player to watch: Paul McKenna
As Richard said in our fans interview, PNE are very much a team effort, and there’s no better player in the whites side than Paul McKenna. The 28-year-old, who is in his testimonial year at Deepdale, has been a key part of PNE’s success story and is good enough for the Premiership according to boss Billy Davis.
Match Facts & Stats
Total Matches: 91
SWFC Wins: 35
PNE Wins: 37
Last Time Out:
26th December 2005
PNE 0-0 Wednesday
Wednesday came back from Deepdale with a hard earned point, which I’m sure Paul Sturrock would have took before the match. Preston were in the middle of a remarkable unbeaten spell and couldn’t break down a depleted Wednesday side with Chris Brunt and Barry Corr up front. It was a dull match though…
Played For Both:
SWFC: Carson, Bullen, Bischoff (Simek 85), Coughlan, Gilbert, Brunt (Best 84), Whelan, Folly, O’Brien, Tudgay (MacLean 77), Burton. Subs Not Used: Adamson, Hills.
PNE: Nash, Mears, Mawene, Davis, Hill, Sedgwick, Jarrett (Whaley 58), McKenna, Davidson, Ormerod (Agyemang 66), Nugent (Dichio 68). Subs Not Used: Alexander, Lewis Neal.
Vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (A) – 25/03/06
Vs Burnley (H) – 01/04/06
Vs Crewe Alex (A) – 08/04/06