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

Bramall Lane, Sheffield

Saturday, February 7


Preview: Owls v Blades

Wednesday will be looking to finally put to bed their poor form at Bramall Lane by coming out on top and completing a Steel City Double against United on Saturday.

Brian Laws' men have that away derby record to put right but United will be just desperate to bag victory, as in any derby clash, after going three clashes without victory.

Steve Watson's goal gave the Owls the bragging rights from the clash at Hillsborough earlier in the season, but who will be the hero at Bramall Lane?

Vital Quotes:

Brian Laws told

'We have the edge over Sheffield United and it's down to them to stop us. One thing is for sure, they'll be more nervy about us than anything else.'

He continued: 'It's one of the biggest games of the season, in fact it is the biggest game, particularly in Sheffield and it's a game that gets built up a lot. Everybody knows about it and we're hoping for a fantastic game and hopefully a fantastic result.

'We tried it last year, there was a 94-year gap since we last did the double over Sheffield United - so it's now 95 years. I hope it's concluded this year and I want to win this for the supporters particularly and to have the bragging rights.'

Kevin Blackwell told the Sheffield Star:

'Opposition teams have been saying that we're tough to beat and that you've got to match us physically to stand a chance. Too right. I wouldn't want it any other way.

'Every player needs a confidence and single-mindedness so that you don't get bossed and you come out on top.

'Sometimes at home I think our lads have been trying too hard to placate people but that's not going to be a problem here.'

United Team News:

United will be without the services of Doncaster-born striker Darius Henderson, with the former Watford man serving a suspension after his sending off against Southampton in midweek.

But the Blades have the ideal replacement in former Arsenal player Arturo Lupoli, who arrrived at Bramall Lane on loan before the close of the transfer window.

The Italian striker is set to get his bow in the red and white stripes after watching the Blades pick up a 2-1 victory at Southampton on Tuesday night.

Fellow new signing Jamie Ward will also be pushing for a start since his January arrival from Chesterfield.

Ward turned down an offer from Barnsley to be at United and came on to score the winner at St Mary's in midweek, giving the Blades boss plenty of food for thought for selection.

Centre-back Chris Morgan was expected to be missing from the clash after picking up an injury in the Blades' clash with Preston, but the former Barnsley captain will undergo a late fitness test.

Former Owl Leigh Bromby will continue at the back should Morgan not be fit for selection.

Player to watch: Danny Webber

With no Henderson to lead the United line, Webber is set to be crucial to the Blades' attacking line, and will be looking to cause problems in the Wednesday back line throughout with his pace and neat finishing.

Wednesday Team News:

Boss Brian Laws could be set to name the same starting line-up that drew 1-1 with Birmingham City last weekend.

Francis Jeffers remains out of contention with him serving a suspension for his sending off in the 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest, but the Owls could be boosted with the return to fitness of Akpo Sodje.

The former Port Vale man, who has already scored in a Sheffield derby, will be far from 100 per cent but could be included to act as a 'supeer sub' and to step up his fitness in the most important of games.

Steve Watson, who scored the winner in the Owls' 1-0 victory at Hillsborough earlier this season, could also return following injury, but he could also be forced to settle for a place on the bench again.

Player to watch: Jermaine Johnson

The Jamaican winger can cause all kinds of problems for the United defence on his day, and United boss Kevin Blackwell will no doubt have tagged him as 'one to watch' following his performance in the derby at Hillsborough. JJ will no doubt be wanting to repeat that performance, but without his controversial sending off last time out.

Match Facts & Stats


United wins: 44

ednesday wins: 39

raws: 38

Last Time Out:

Wednesday 1-0 United

Hillsborough, 19/10/08

Wednesday bossed a second derby game in succession as Steve Watson's first half, long-range, effort was enough to give Wednesday the three points, and the bragging rights from the first Steel City Derby of the season at S6.

Previous Line-Ups:

United: Kenny, Halford, Bromby, Kilgallon, Naysmith, Howard, Montgomery, Naughton, Quinn, Henderson, Webber (Ward 86). Subs Not Used: Cotterill, Hendrie, Jihai, Sharp.

Wednesday: Grant, Buxton, Beevers, Wood, Spurr, Johnson (Small 83), Potter, O'Connor, Gray, Tudgay, Clarke. Subs Not Used: Hinds, Watson, McAllister, Boden.

Next Fixtures:

v Doncaster Rovers (A) - 14/02/09

v Crystal Palace (H) - 24/02/09

The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 6 2009

Time: 12:47PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
will b a hard game but we will scrap it 2-1 to wednesday n i will b there to cheer the lads to victory
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06/02/2009 14:51:00

3-1 super owls.
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06/02/2009 15:17:00

2-1 to the owls
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06/02/2009 16:22:00

3-1 blades!! EASY!!
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06/02/2009 17:49:00

I'm staining myself already!! Going to be a very tough game and expecting it to be end to end stuff. Good ref in charge that will keep it flowing and hopefully will have all men on the pitch at the end? Them having Henderson out with suspension is a big plus as he was starting to get going. There not playing good stuff at the moment so that gives us a chance but our away record we all now is crap so it evens it out more or less. There will be goals and i'm going for a 1-1 draw. Will be very happy with that!!
will it ever happen
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06/02/2009 18:15:00

see even pigforlife agrees with me 3-1 to the owls
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06/02/2009 18:54:00

lol mick66owl
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06/02/2009 22:53:00

love a win so much ( not that we need it, mid table comfort most likely for this year) but think we will walk away with a draw.
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07/02/2009 00:10:00

mickypiggy - 3-1 blades!! EASY!! now where's that agreeing with you as an owls win?? i now you all getting worried about tomorrow and rightly so but, wendy won't make it esay that is guaranteed, especially under laws. he opperates just like warnock did at BDTBL, I'm really pleased hendo isn't playing as ward, sharp and webber will all cause you mayhem. fast football is what we are hoping for tomorrow without a big target man to just boot to every 2 mins. deffinately a 3-1 blades win!! COME ON U RED N WHITE WAZARDS!!
Report Abuse
07/02/2009 01:45:00

POT, KETTLE, BLACK. Arrange the previous three words into a sentence which would describe certain users of our site.
Skeggy Owl
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07/02/2009 02:12:00

lol - i'm looking forward to this one!!
Report Abuse
07/02/2009 09:34:00

of course you agree with me pigforlife you know we will win today you lot are bobbIng your pants. UP THE OWLS
Report Abuse
07/02/2009 09:39:00

ooh yeah webber sharp and ward are *****in dynamite in front of goal, remind me, have any of them scored as many as tudders this season? three ***** strikers if you ask me, im not worried at all, no doubt youll be doin your usual dissappeaering act later on today pigforlife after you lose.
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07/02/2009 11:06:00

I should imagine that united will be playing all their wednesday rejects?? You're always on here putting the superowls down bfl but how many ex owls have been shipped across to you lot in the past few years?? funny how they are so bad whilst playing in the blue and white but the best thing since sliced bread when they cross over to the red & white!!!! 2-1 the Owls!!
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07/02/2009 11:57:00

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07/02/2009 13:57:00

Hopefully that'll keep BFL quiet for a little while. Can't wait to hear the excuses. C'mon you Owls! Read about Tuggy's goal can't wait to see it.
Report Abuse
07/02/2009 14:12:00

same ere sounds like his goal was a reyt belter
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07/02/2009 14:14:00

just got back fronm pig lane and i have to say that wednesday deserved the win they played the better football by a mile..tudgays goal was the goal of the season..i now understand why the pig fans have been moaning because all they do is lump the ball..the only threat they had was halfords long throws which did cause us trouble..utd fans were crap..never sung before or during the match and were second best to the wednesday fans yet again..b laws is my hero..i am waiting for pig for life usuall excuses but there isnt one were done all over the park so ***** off back to your ***** ground which by they way was not full!!..they didnt give out the gate out at the game??up the owls
Report Abuse
07/02/2009 15:21:00

Tudgays goal was complete quality GameBurton07 & owlswfc, piggy fans always bang on about Michael Browns goal from a few years back... well Tudgays was 10 times better!
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07/02/2009 20:32:00


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