Wednesday and United may be fighting at different ends of the Championship table this season, but all that will be put to one side as the Owls seek revenge on their neighbours for defeat earlier in the season…
Paul Sturrock told the SWFC site:
”There is no pressure on us. We’re the underdogs. The whole country will be making them the favourites and will have an away win ticked off on their coupon.”
”We were under strength against Crystal Palace and matched them. I don’t see this being any different. We won’t come out and lie down. We’ll go and battle as we always do and we’ll rely on our 12th man to get behind the boys.”
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will be giving late fitness tests to Deon Burton and Richard Wood ahead of the derby game. Wood will be a key player in the game, after picking up the Owls man of the match award in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. The boss has said that he won’t risk the players if they’re not fit.
He told the SWFC site: ”If they aren’t 200 per cent fit, they won’t play. I won’t sacrifice them for one game, to lose them for the next seven.
Steven Maclean is set for a start after making his first start for the Owls in almost a year in the 2-1 defeat at Coventry in midweek. Sturrock will be pondering over whether to use Barry Corr, Marcus Tudgay, or Leon Best alongside last season’s top scorer.
Chris Adamson is set to continue in goal following Paul Sturrocks unsuccessful search for a loan ‘keeper. Adamson has impressed in between the sticks in the two games he’s played since David Lucas’ injury. Sturrock is continuing his ‘keeper search but is unlikely to have anyone in place until next week.
Former blades loanee Jon-Paul McGovern has lost his race to be fit for the derby, and is unlikely to even feature on the bench for the Owls. McGovern was hoping to be back in late January but has suffered further set backs in his fight for fitness.
Defender Drissa Diallo will definately be missing from the squad after picking up a slight hamstring injury in the midweek defeat at Coventry City.
Player to watch: Steve Maclean
After a dissapointing result in midweek, striker Steve Maclean was the one good thing to come from the evening, making his first start in almost a year for the Owls. He may not be back to full fitness, but his goialscoring abilities will be a great benefit to an Owls team struggling in front of goal.
United Team News:
Blades defender David Unsowrth will definately be missing from the match as he completes a three game ban.
On a positive not for the Blades, ex-owl Alan Quinn and new signing Geoff Horsfield are pushing for places in the starting eleven. Both players have been declared fit and available after suffering injurys.
Neil Warnock told the SUFC site: ”I thought Alan had broken his leg last Saturday and it could have been five or six weeks out but he’s done more and more this week and I’m sure he’ll tell me he’s fit.”
A trio of players are also fighting for fitness after picking up minor injuries in the midweek draw with Reading. Leigh Bromby, Nick Montgomery, and Craig Short will all under-go late fitness tests.
Player to watch: Michael Tonge
The Blades fans having been saying all wekk how Tonge has re-captured the form of a season ago. He’s failed to impress this season, but has impressed the Bramall Lane faithful in his recent performances – coming just in time for the Steel City derby.
Match Facts & Stats
United 1-0 Wednesday
Blades fans thought it was going to be another Boxing Day massacre – but it was anything but. The blades ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a goal from Alan Quinn – typical.
The owls weren’t disgraced though, and could have even snatched an equaliser with some good second half pressure.
Played For Both:
Wednesday 2-1 United
How can I possibly predict anything other than a Wednesday victory?
The Blades may be favourites, and may be heading for promotion to the Premiership, but it’s a one-off game that all Owls fans have been waiting for since the defeat at Bramall Lane earlier this season. We won’t keep them out, but with Maclean desperate for goals in attack, we’ll have enough for a 2-1 victory.
Vs Southampton (A) – 25/02/06
Vs Cardiff City (A) – 04/03/06
Vs QPR (H) – 11/03/06