Sheffield Wednesday | Preview: Owls v Blades
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Wednesday vs. United

Hillsborough, Sheffield

Sunday, October 19


Preview: Owls v Blades

The time has come, the match all Wednesday fans have been looking forward to since the fixtures were announced over the summer, the time to put league form to one side for one cup-style match will give the bragging rights to either the blue and white side or the red and white side of Sheffield until the next time. Let's hope it's the blue and white side...

Wednesday enjoyed the upper hand over the Blades last season, a comfortable victory on home soil, partly thanks to the heroics of Bryan Robson, mainly due to Wednesday simply out-battling and out-classing their opponents from the 'other side'.

A victory at Sheffield's second-biggest stadium should have soon followed at Bramall Lane, only for their star-man Beattie to spoil the party.

One-man team? Of course not, or at least that's what Kevin Blackwell will be hoping to do when he looks to restore some pride following the Steel City derby clashes of last season.

Either way, it's going to be a battle royale, bring it on!

Vital Quotes:

Brian Laws told the Sheffield Star:

'Players were up for last season's derbies, and they're up for this one.

'Every players wants to be a part of this game; everybody is pushing to be fit and ready.

'There's a great incentive for us. We have an opportunity to overtake United.'

Lee Grant told the official SWFC website:

'We have already shown that we can compete with the best teams in this division on our day.

'We know what to expect from Sheffield United, they are big, they are physical. They have a good squad of players, but likewise so have we.

'We have players to match any squad in the Championship.'

Sean McAllister told the Sheffield Star:

'We'll want to keep the game tight. We've got a good record at home. Hopefully we can keep that going.

'We have done well so far, with the crowd behind us. They'll be there again on Sunday.; they're always great.

'This is a derby. It should be interesting. I can't wait.'

Wednesday Team News:

With a number of injury concerns easing for Owls' boss Brian Laws, the Wednesday gaffer will have a number of 'welcome' selection headaches for the first derby clash of the season.

Richard Wood is all set to return at the back, but Tommy Spurr is still highly doubtful to return after picking up an injury in the defeat at Plymouth last time out.

But Laws has brought Lewis Buxton in on loan from Stoke City, and the versatile defender could well go straight in to the starting eleven at left-back with Peter Gilbert still rated as 50/50 after missing out at Home Park through injury.

Akpo Sodje, a goalscorer in last season's victory over the Blades at Hillsborough, is also in the frame to return, but Laws could well see it come too soon for the powerful striker, although a place on the bench isn't out of the question.

Francis Jeffers could well make his first start of the season in the most important match of the season after keeping up his return to full fitness with a number of first team substitute appearances, culminating in a 45 minute showing at Plymouth two weeks ago.

There will also be selection headaches in the Owls midfield, with Wade Small, Etienne Esajas and Jermaine Johnson seemingly battling for palces on the wings, though it's likely Laws will go with Johnson and Esajas on Sunday.

Player to watch: Francis Jeffers

Jeffers' return to first team action in a regular match would see an added interest from the Wednesday faithful, but to return against the Blades, and have the chance to bag the winning goals will give Jeffers added incentive to impress should he make his first start of the season on Sunday, and in front of the Sky cameras too.

United Team News:

United have boosted their ranks ahead of the trip to S6 with the loan signing of Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes on a three-month loan deal.

The former Arsenal youth product is expected to go straight in to the squad for Sunday's Steel City derby and could well go straight in to the starting line-up to try and make an immediate name for himself with the Blades faithful, and also impress Black Cats' boss Roy Keane on live TV.

Stokes' arrival could soften the blow should Darius Henderson fail to be passed fit for the clash, while Chris Morgan and Nick Montgomery have both been passed fit for the match.

Player to watch: James Beattie

The obvious choice for the player to watch and the obvious star man in the Blades camp, who will no doubt be wanting to score the winning goal for the Blades this time around rather than bagging a late leveller. Will be a handful for the Owls defence, no doubt.

Match Facts & Stats


Wednesday wins: 38
United wins: 44
Draws: 38

Last Time Out:

United 2-2 Wednesday

Bramall Lane, 08/04/2008

Wednesday looked to be heading towards their second derby victory of the season at Bramall Lane thanks to a brace of goals from loanee Adam Bolder. But an unfortunate own goal from Richard Wood just after the hour mark and a late James Beattie strike rescued a point for the Blades.

Previous Line-Ups:

Wednesday: Grant, McMahon, Beevers, Watson, Spurr, Small (Jeffers 46), O'Connor, McAllister, Esajas (Johnson 46), Burton (Smith 56), Tudgay. Subs Not Used: O'Donnell, Clarke.

United: Kenny, Naughton, Morgan, Kilgallon, Naysmith, Halford (Ehiogu 89), Speed, Quinn, Webber (Montgomery 75), Beattie (Henderson 78), Sharp. Subs Not Used: Hendrie, Dyer.

Next Fixtures:

v Barnsley (A) - 21/10/08

v Birmingham City (A) - 25/10/08

v Plymouth Argyle (H) - 28/10/08

The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 17 2008

Time: 1:09PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:15:00

Head-To-Head: Wednesday wins: 38 United wins: 44 Draws: 38 Read and weep little piggies, the niggest and better team in Sheffield have the better head to head over the years. How many years since you last did the double of us? Over 90, soon to be 100. Enjoy the match.
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:24:00

Niggest? Just another example of Pig fans being the thickest in the city. And by the way, I'd take a cup semi-final victory, seeing you pigs in tears at Wembley with a right whooping, as about 20 victories to one of your pointless league wins. Boxing Day Massacre? Take 10 for that too, unlucky...
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:34:00

BDM, long ago was that? I think you need to stop living in the past because it really is not that good. One mickey mouse cup win and you think your the best. Where is Geoff Sheard and his money? Pathetic Pigs and that petition. Please Geoff blah blah.
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:36:00

sharp - I remember last time when the Vital Blades brigade practically lived on here a few days before last season's derby at Hillsborough, going on about how we were going to get thrashed. Safe to say we didn't see you for a few days. Keep it coming!
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:36:00

thought piggy fans didnt live in history and it was us that lived in the past? how many years since you last won ANYTHING? over 80 big club eh moonpig?
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:40:00

Living in the past? Are you awake? It was you who brought up PAST meetings, numpty boy. Yeah, Mickey Mouse Cup, FA Cup is worthless ain't it? If you came on and actually talked about the game rather than have pointless digs, maybe you'd be a bit more respected? All you Pigs seem to do is talk about Wednesday rather than your own club. A true sign of a small club looking up to its older and bigger brother if ever there was one.
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:41:00

How many empty seats will there be at the Sty? Big club my arse. Deluded pigs with nothing to shout about. Bet you love McCabe, what you would give to have a chairman like him.
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:42:00

I've seen Wednesday win the League Cup and play in Europe. Mickey Mouse Cup you call it - yeah, what have you seen your team win again? Nothing, and probably NEVER will. Closest you'll come to winning a cup final is in your cup final, against US.
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:43:00

There will be more at Hillsborough on Sunday than the return fixture at Bramall Lane - FACT. How many kids will be using their FREE season tickets in the return fixture? It'll be like a Pig creche, bless em!
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:44:00

how many empty seats at the lane? oh yeah thats right none because mccrybabey gives em away and charges 10quid and a multipack of frazzles for kids season tickets, stop mentioning attendence figures you fool every ground would be full if it was free
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:45:00

lol...those comments just goes to show how deluded you guys are. All those kids we are giving tickets too will grow up to be Blades and it shows just how shrewd McCabe is. How many empty seats will there be? Can;t you answer a simple question? or does it hurt you too much. Your club is a joke. Old rusty S H I T stadium, No training ground and a flooded pitch every time it rains heavy. A fraudster wanting to take over your scabby club and loan signings contributing to half your team. Keep looking up at our club on and off the pitch.
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:50:00

just shows how desperate the smaller club are for support have to give em away
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:56:00

the point is without the FREE tickets your attendences would be LOWER than ours so STOP mentioning bleeding attendence figures you silly little boy
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 14:57:00

Looking forward to watching Lewis Buxton? How the mighty have fallen.
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 15:00:00

So you think your stadium is good?
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 15:01:00

Ask a general football fan with no ties to either Sheffield club and they'll say Hillsborough every time sharp. I know you won't admit that, but it is. Yeah, away end is rubbish - so is yours, we just have posts. Do we care? No, it's for away fans. Our south stand is ten times better than anything you have. Our Kop is ten times better than yours. It has posts again, but it probably has more seats with good views than yours. North, again better views than anything in your stadium. Like it not, Hillsborough is a grander, more famous stadium than Bumhole Lane every will be. How are we supposed to know any many empty seats there will be? Are we magicians?
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 17:11:00

My god you are deluded. I don't need to waste anymore time on here. The men in white coats will be coming for you soon.
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 17:17:00

and sharpblunt - how many times do you want to say deluded? is it the longest word you know or something? *****
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 17:22:00

Sharpblades- when you say our pitch gets flooded every time it rains ... is that the rain that so tragically killed 3 Sheffielders, and led to months of hardship for 100's of families in Sheffield( Of which im sure some were united fans) *****in Grow Up you****
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 17:51:00

We do seem to have lost the point. I bluntblades defence I will say that United's policy re- kids tickets is smart as those kids will grow up and probably continue supporting the blunts (poor b******). This is far sighted and good managment of the kind that I wish was present at Hillsborough today. A smart pricing policy fills the stadium regularly, builds up an atmosphere and helps the team. By over pricing we're driving fans away. No one can deny our gates are down and United's are up. So come on fellers, lay off the blunt one, he's got enough to contend with by supporting a crap team. C'mon Wednesday! Oh, Tommy, fair point.
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 19:31:00

lol it dunt take much for you lot to cry does it. this just goes to show that 1 bladec an kick the ***** out of 20 wendy fans!! ha ha nice 1 sharpblades!!
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 19:40:00

4-1 BLADES (BEATS HATRICK AND SHARPY IN FRONT OF A PACKED LEPPINGS LANE END) carnt wait to see the empty seats. we could probably sell more tickets than you snortbeasts if we were given the option. the future is already red n white!!!!
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 19:42:00

Is it just me, or can you hear an annoying bleating noise?
Auckland Owl
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 19:48:00

Oh, bfl, there you are, I thought it was you.
Auckland Owl
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 19:48:00

Sheffield is 3/4 Wednesday, FACT
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 20:19:00

ha ha thats the best yet you prawn!!!!! typical from a part time pig!!
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 20:45:00

You moron blunts are setting yourselves up for one bloody great fall, after last seasons embarrasingly perfectic performance i would have thought you'd be keeping a low profile just in case there's a repeat showing but no, out come the same old 5hit! You better hope you don't lose Sunday you fools!
Report Abuse
17/10/2008 22:14:00

it was you poor relations that started spouting off first - your very own thick, deluded, brainless, part timer, grubby smiggypiggy!!
Report Abuse
18/10/2008 07:50:00

Cut out the insults or I start deleting your every word.
Auckland Owl
Report Abuse
18/10/2008 08:53:00

Wednesday have been mismanaged (in the directors box more often that in the dugout) for years now. The Pigs now have a higher attendance than us, more disposable income and more for wages. Therefore, they are currently doing better than us. To say which is the biggest is pure objectivity and quite pointless. If the Pigs get bigger gates by giving out free/heavily subsidised tickets then why don't we? One thing remains as a constant, however: non-affiliated football fans generally prefer Wednesday. Warnock was the most hated manager in football at the Lane. This whole crying thing over West Ham is disgraceful and I have no sympathy for the Pigs. They were 10 points clear and they did not deliver. I may be wrong on this one (perish the thought) but out of the two England strikers likely to be playing tomorrow, Jeffers is by far the better.
Report Abuse
18/10/2008 11:58:00

love you too BFl and the part timer comment???
Report Abuse
18/10/2008 12:16:00

Jesus you United fans are like a stuck record... deluded this, snortbeast that ... How bored are you? Not quite as bored as we are listening to your ramblings. Yes our clubs in financial turmoil, get over it. Of course we'll look to our history as tool in an argument because our past is better than our present. The key thing there is we have a past. Your team is just a run-of-the-mill club. There's no character, no silverware in recent years and no history... You ply your trade in cheap Stoke City-like shirts and sue everybody. I'm not suprised you get your kicks by coming on here looking for a reaction, it's the only real entertainment you guys must get. Here's hoping for a good game on Sunday. UTO.
Report Abuse
18/10/2008 12:16:00

As to empty seats, don't think we're going to see many. Only place, apparently, where there are a few vacant seats is in the corner of the North stand and one thing is for we have a bigger ground capacity than bumhole lane it won't be too difficult to get a bigger attendance than the return match.
US Owl
Report Abuse
18/10/2008 14:03:00

ha ha obviouslly in the us you dont get to see your team that much. ha ha its 2008 not 1993. there will be at least 7,000 empty seats at swillsborough!!!
Report Abuse
19/10/2008 09:48:00

perhaps we can go out for a drink some time smiggypiggy?? ha ha xxxxxx
Report Abuse
19/10/2008 09:49:00

im really really confident today and i think we will hammer you. it will be difficult to start with but with beats and sharp up front, howard, speed, and quinn in the heart of the midfield and the best deffence in the division we should romp this today. im going for 4-1 blades (beats hatrick and sharp in front of a packed leppings lane end) PAYBACK TIME YOU POOR RELATION PIGS!!!
Report Abuse
19/10/2008 09:50:00

Report Abuse
19/10/2008 16:35:00

1-0 sharpblades,bfl up urs
Report Abuse
19/10/2008 18:34:00

u dnt know how much of a pillock you look now sharpblades and bfl
Report Abuse
19/10/2008 18:39:00

we all big up our team you idiots. we wouldnt be supporters if we didnt. another 7,000 + empty seats - shocking support and a crap atmosphere considering you won. you dont actually have any songs do you???
Report Abuse
20/10/2008 01:04:00

the only 1 i hear from u is united united united so ya tlkin out ya arse
Report Abuse
20/10/2008 16:17:00

oh what sourgrapes bfl. i'd love to see a sheffield derby at piggy lane live on sky for a change, you'd probably only get 21,000 like you did a few years back. as for songs, well we didnt hear you're lot sing any
Report Abuse
20/10/2008 21:17:00


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