Wednesday return to the day-in-day-out of league action this weekend looking to keep pace with the npower League One top two, or even leapfrog second-placed Huddersfield Town, when they visit Tranmere Rovers.
The Birkenhead club have enjoyed a good season so far, sitting just outside the play-off spots, and will fancy their chances against the Owls this weekend – especially thanks to their impressive home record which has seen them lost just once in nine matches.
Wednesday lost 3-0 at Prenton Park last season and will be keen not to suffer the repeat of a heavy defeat in their on-going quest for promotion this season.
Owls midfielder James O’Connor told the Sheffield Star:
“We’ve had a good start to the season, but that’s all it is, a start.
“We need to kick on and maintain our results and performances.
“It’s great that there’s a feelgood factor around the place.
“That’s what we want and what the supporters want. It comes from winning games.
“When you’re winning, the players are happy, the manager is happy and the supporters are happy.’
Rovers goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams told his club’s official website:
‘Last week wasn’t our best week [home cup defeat against Cheltenham] but we can look forward and prepare ourselves in the best way for Saturday. We’ll be going into the game with a bit of fire in our bellies.
‘We’ll prepare like we usually do and make sure we get the job done.
‘We’ve got to make sure we carry on our form in the league. Our run has been fantastic and we’ve got to remember that. We’re eighth in the league and flying.
‘We’ve shown against Charlton, Preston and Sheffield United what we can do so we’ve got nothing to prove.
‘The only thing we’ve got to do is make sure we put things back on track, do everything the best we can and hopefully the result will look after itself.’
Tranmere Rovers Team News:
Tranmere will be eager to put the disappointment of being knocked out of the FA Cup at the first round stage last week, a 1-0 home loss against Cheltenham, when Wednesday visit this weekend.
Rovers will have a fully fit squad to choose from for the clash, including a familiar face in former Owls man Enoch Showunmi, who featured in a reserve game for Tranmere in midweek and is ready to face his former club.
Jose Baxter will also be available for selection for Les Parry, the Tranmere boss, after serving a three match suspension on the sidelines
Player to watch: Enoch Showunmi
Showunmi didn’t make much of an impression during his stint at Hillsborough but even so, he’ll be eager to get one over on his former club in the white of Tranmere.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday boss Gary Megson is expected to welcome back loan duo Stephen Bywater and Ben Marshall, who both missed last weekend’s cup win over Morecambe due to the terms of their respective loan deals.
Captain Rob Jones also missed last weekend’s cup clash but is all set to return after recovering from a minor nose operation. He’s expected to replace Reda Johnson in central defence, with Johnson candidate to switch to the much-changed left-back spot in place of Julian Bennett.
Young midfielder Liam Palmer is also available for selection after returning to S6 from international duty with Scotland U21s.
Player to watch: Gary Madine
The Owls’ top-scorer will be eager to get back on the scoresheet following his two-match league ban and failure to get a goal in their Owls’ cup clash at Morecambe at the weekend. Expected to partner Chris O’Grady in attack.
Match Facts & Stats
Tranmere wins: 7
Wednesday wins: 8
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 4-0 Tranmere
Wednesday dished out a thumping to Rovers the last time the sides met. Tommy Miller scored twice, once from the spot, while Gary Madine and Neil Mellor also got on the scoresheet.
v Leyton Orient (H) – 26/11/11