Wednesday will be looking to keep their slim chances of a play-off spot alive and make it ten games unbeaten as they make the difficult trip to promotion-chasing West Brom in front of the Sky cameras on Friday night.
The Owls have been in arguably their best form of the season in recent weeks and will be confident of getting a result against Tony Mowbray’s men following three staight wins which have propelled them to within six points of the play-offs.
And they could find themselves three points off a top-six spot come Friday night – although the Baggies will be looking to pick up a vital three points for themselves as they look to get back on track to promotion following a shakey last few weeks.
West Brom Team News:
West Brom boss Tony Mowbray has received a huge boost ahead of the clash with the news that striker’s Kevin Phillips and John Hartson are in contention for a starting place on Friday night.
The former Sunderland hitman has recovered from illness which kept him out of their win at Norwich City on Monday while former Celtic striker Hartson has also returned to training this week after recovering from the same bug that has blighted the Baggies camp in the last week.
Neil Clement is also tipped to return to the starting eleven after missing the last two matches with a ankle injury while Sam Sodje and dangerman Jason Koumas are also pushing for a place after picking up knocks at Carrow Road.
But on-loan forward Sherjill MacDonald looks set to be on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury recently.
Highly-rated young defender Curtis Davies will miss out after picking up a long-term foot injury.
Player to watch: Diomansy Kamara
Although his goals have dried up at just the wrong time for the Baggies, former Portsmouth striker Karama has been arguably the hit of the season in the Championship with his fine scoring form and his nea trickery in the Albion attack. The French-born hitman will be a huge threat to the Wednesday goal alongside Jason Koumas.
Wednesday Team News:
Defender Steve Watson will be unavailable for selection for Owls boss Brian Laws with the Baggies not allowing him to play in the fixture while on-loan at Hillsborough.
But Wednesday will be able to throw Frank Simek, who has had a superb season at S6, back in to the frame following a three-match suspension.
The USA international will go back to his favoured right-back position allowing Lee Bullen to return to the centre of defence alongside Richard Wood while Kenny Lunt is set to continue in the centre of midfield with Glenn Whelan.
But Jermaine Johnson could again be sitting on the sidelines as he recovers from chicken pox.
Johnson was initially out through injury and was set to return to action last weekend, but chicken pox have ruled him out for a further three matches. Marcus Tudgay should continue on the right-wing.
Nobody knows how Laws will shuffle his pack in attack.
The former Scunthorpe boss has used numerous different strike partnerships in recent weeks, with the changes paying dividends with two wins.
But the Owls gaffer will have a selection headache over whether to play Deon Burton, Steve Maclean or Leon Clarke in the Wednesday attack – with my money being on a Burton and Clarke partnership.
Player to watch: Frank Simek
The Owls right-back will be key in containing the Albion attack as he’s thrown straight back in to the mix following a three-match suspension. Simek has been a key figure for Wednesday this term and will be hoping to finish the season on a high.
Match Facts & Stats
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 3-1 West Brom, Hillsborough, 28th November 2006.
Wednesday picked up probably their best victory of the season to date with a superb performance against the travel-shy Baggies. Early goals from Glenn Whelan and Madjid Bougherra put Wednesday on their way before Steve Maclean wrapped up the win with a 90th minute penalty after Jason Koumas pulled one back.
West Brom wins: 33
Wednesday wins: 52
West Brom: W-L-W-D-L
West Brom: Kiely, Albrechtsen, McShane, Sodje, Robinson, Gera (Hodgkiss 90), Greening, Carter (Koumas 70), Koren, Ellington (Chaplow 81), Kamara. Subs Not Used: Daniels, Wallwork.
Wednesday: Turner, Bullen, Wood, Watson, Spurr, Lunt (Folly 75), Whelan, Tudgay, Brunt, MacLean, Clarke (Burton 63). Subs Not Used: Adamson, Hills, Lekaj.
West Brom v Wednesday
Birmingham v Southampton
Cardiff v Stoke
Coventry v Preston
Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton
Hull v Colchester
Ipswich v Derby
Leeds v Burnley
Leicester v Norwich
Luton v Plymouth
Southend v Barnsley
Sunderland v QPR
Vs Coventry City (H) – 21/04/07
Vs Birmingham City (A) – 28/04/07
Vs Norwich City (H) – 06/05/07