Date:Thursday February 26 2009
Turf Moor, Burnley
Saturday, February 28
The Owls' trip to Burnley this weekend marks the start of a tough run of matches, including Wolves and Reading, which boss Brian Laws will no doubt be concerned about.
But Laws takes his side to Turf Moor in good spirits following the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace last weekend, although knowing that he needs a better performance from his men.
Turf Moor has been a relatively happy hunting ground for Wednesday in recent seasons, but the hosts will be looking for all 3 points to keep their promotion push on track.
Richard Wood told the Sheffield Star:
'Burnley are a good side and the next few games are going to be a good test for us. We'll see how strong our squad is at the moment. It will be a useful marker for us. Last Saturday's result means we'll go to Burnley with confidence.'
He continued: 'If we had gone into these big games without any points from the last three, there would have been a bit of pressure on us. We'll go into this spell with confidence.'
Graham Alexander told the official Burnley website:
'If we want to be in the play-offs at the end of the season we have to win the majority of our home games at least.
'Saturday is the first opportunity to do that now and it's going to be a tough game as we found out on the opening day of the season. We are always up for three points at Turf Moor though.'
Wednesday fans know the former Manchester United man all too well after his loan stint at S6, and he's made a superb start to his career with the Clarets, no doubt causing one of the biggest threats to the Owls defence this weekend.
Captain Richard Wood has declared himself fit for the trip to Turf Moor but could well find it difficult to get straight back into the side.
Woody was absent from the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend, with the centre-back pairing of Mark Beevers and Richard Hinds working well.
But Laws could well rest Frank Simek, despite him making an impressive return to action last week, and move Hinds to right-back to include Wood.
Leon Clarke will also be pushing for a return to the starting eleven after making a huge impact from the bench in the win over Palace, but Laws will have a selection headache with Francis Jeffers the man most likely to drop to the bench.
Akpo Sodje made his return for the reserves in midweek but it's unlikely he'll be risked at Turf Moor, while Sean McAllister is set to keep his place in midfield, with former Burnley man James O'Connor left on the bench.
Wednesday will need an outlet against an attacking Clarets side, and the match could work to a tee for jet-heeled winger Jermaine Johnson, who's due a performance in the blue and white stripes.
Burnley wins: 40
ednesday wins: 37
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 4-1 Burnley
Wednesday made a rampaging start to the 2008-09 campaign by climbing to the top of the table thanks to a 4-1 thrashing of a shell-shocked Burnley side.
Akpo Sodje bagged an early brace, while Marcus Tudgay also bagged two in a superb opening day performance from those in blue and white.
Burnley: Jensen, Williams, Duff, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott (Eagles 62), Alexander, McCann, Blake (McDonald 63), Paterson, Thompson (Rodriguez 82). Subs Not Used: Penny, Gudjonsson.
Wednesday: Grant, Simek, Beevers, Hinds, Spurr, Johnson (O'Connor 90), McAllister, Potter, Gray (Clarke 65), Jeffers (Small 78), Tudgay. Subs Not Used: O'Donnell, Boden.
v Reading (H) - 03/03/09
v Wolves (H) - 07/03/09
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Date:Thursday February 26 2009
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