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Preview: Owls v Blades


Bramall Lane, Sheffield

Saturday, February 7


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

Date:Friday February 6 2009
Time: 12:47PM

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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
06/02/2009 14:51:00
3-1 super owls.
06/02/2009 15:17:00
2-1 to the owls
06/02/2009 16:22:00
3-1 blades!! EASY!!
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
06/02/2009 18:15:00
see even pigforlife agrees with me 3-1 to the owls
06/02/2009 18:54:00
lol mick66owl
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.
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!!
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
07/02/2009 02:12:00
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