Writer: Auckland Owl
Date:Thursday November 20 2008
The Owls return to the relative comfort of a home match against a team below them in the league, as Coventry City come to Hillsborough following a miserable run of five points from their last seven games. Brian Laws' men, only two points better off over the same period, embark on a crucial run of four games which will set the tone for the Christmas period and possibly the rest of the season. Sky Blues gaffer Chris Coleman will be hoping for improvements against a Wednesday side with great home form, but hampered by the usual injury worries.
Chris Coleman: 'We have had our problems at the Ricoh Arena where we have not been as flowing or looked as solid as we have in our away games. Maybe Saturday's game will give us a bit of breathing space because we are not in front of our home fans. And if we can get something out of the game then we can start again and put a little run together.'
Tommy Spurr has a dead leg and was rated 50/50 for this match: Peter Gilbert will be on standby to replace him, but we're expecting Tommy to pull through. Forwards Akpo Sodje, Etienne Esajas and Wade Small all have their various ailments - it's not looking good for Sodje with a possible four weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring tear. Esajas should be in contention though. Wednesday will hope that Jermaine Johnson suffers no ill effects of his awayday with the Jamaican national team.
On the plus side, Deon Burton, Francis Jeffers and Frank Simek all got 90 minutes under their belt midweek, and loanees Lewis Buxton and Jimmy Smith got valuable game time too.
Will he only have eyes for Chris Coleman? Or will his mind be on the job? A focused Woody would give the Owls defence a real shot in the arm after the Derby debacle.
Aron Gunnarsson has a wrist injury but will miss the match this Saturday anyway after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Plymouth. Want-away striker Michael Mifsud also missed that match with a leg injury. Forward Leon McKenzie has targeted a return to first-team action in the Championship clash against Reading in two weeks' time. Robbie Simpson may get another start.
Pick a member of the Coventry squad you'd most like not to score. It's Clinton, isn't it? Let's hope the Owls back four take care of him.
Head-To-Head at Hillsborough:
Wednesday wins: 19
Coventry wins: 7
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 1 Coventry 1
Late goals on April Fool's Day last year: Richard Wood grabbing a point for the Owls with a last gasp effort to propel the Owls out of the drop zone and give them hope.
Previous Line Ups:
Coventry: Westwood, Osbourne, Ward, Dann, Fox, Simpson, Gunnarsson (Beuzelin 67), Doyle, Tabb, Best (Eastwood 66), Morrison. Subs Not Used: Marshall, Wright, Hall.
Sheff Wed: Grant, McMahon, Beevers, Wood, Spurr, Tudgay, O'Connor, Watson, McAllister (Johnson 57), Clarke (Jeffers 69), Sodje (Burton 57). Subs Not Used: O'Donnell, Buxton.
v Blackpool (A) - 25/11/08 19:45
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Date:Thursday November 20 2008
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