Preview: Sheffield Wednesday vs. Sheffield United (Part Two)
Updated Saturday, 25th February 2012
Sheffield Wednesday host City rivals Sheffield United in front of a full capacity crowed at Hillsborough tomorrow afternoon.
They were dumped out of the FA Cup at home to Blackpool in a replay at Hillsborough. They were arguably unfortunate to have to play a second game when the Seasiders leveled things up via the penalty spot in the last minute of the game. In S6 they took a 3-0 hammering; former Blades loan star Matty Phillips starting the rout.
It started a poor run of form and within seven days lost three vital League One matches; they were sunk at Exeter City (1-2) despite Jermaine Johnson taking the lead before play-off rivals Stevange (0-1) carved out a shock result in the Steel City. There last match going into this City Derby also ended in defeat - a local fixture at Chesterfield (0-1).
Wednesday were expected to end there run of defeats with a win at the B2Net Stadium against a 'Chessy' side who are fighting against relegation, Ryan Lowe was brought to replace a miss-firing Gary Madine who despite netting 12 goals this season hasn't found the back of the net since 21 January in a 2-2 draw with Hartlepool United. The Owls came close to netting against the Spirites and in the end it was a spot kick which decided the match.
Ryan Lowe, Red Johnson and Lewis Buxton all spurned opportunities before they were denied what looked to be a clear penalty but in the second half the home side were presented with a penalty of their own and Dean Morgan (78 minutes) didn't turn down the chance to take the lead; sending Stephen Bywater the wrong way to win the match.
The result left the former Olive Ground club third in the table having played two more games (32) than second placed United and five points adrift of the automatic spot. With three league defeats in a row they could see themselves looking behind there backs; they should do well to make the top six.
They find themselves without Jermaine Johnson (hamstring) ahead of this weekends clash after the former Bradford City winger bowed out late in the first half at the B2Net Stadium; he was replaced by on loan Tottenham Hotspur winger John Bostock who may replace him on Sunday - he is currently expected to be sidelined for eight weeks. However they have been quick to bring in Michail Antonio (from Reading) in an emergency loan deal and could pit him against the Blades.
Meanwhile defender Danny Batth is expected to start against his former club. He came to Bramall Lane on a months loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers in November 2010 under the leadership of Gary Speed. However he only managed 5 minutes of first team football when he came on in a 1-0 win over Swansea City at Bramall Lane.
Possible Owls Line-Up:
|Buxton||Batth||Jones (c)||R. Johnson|
Owls-Mad Prediction: The form book points to an away win at the moment. The pressure is on us given the table as it stands but I can't see us winning the way we have been playing this month.