Preview: Hartlepool v Owls
Victoria Park, Hartlepool
Saturday, August 28
IT's a repeat of the 2005 League One play-off final at Victoria Park this weekend as the Owls aim to bounce back from a first defeat of the season against Hartlepool.
The Owls won 4-2 in extra-time on that memorable day in Cardiff which saw Wednesday promoted to the Championship and 'Pool remain in League One.
But that will be a distant memory, for the players at least, as Alan Irvine and his men look to continue their unbeaten start to their league campaign.
Hartlepool are still reeling from the shock departure of Chris Turner, but Mick Wadsworth has come in to steady the ship and will be looking to get a big scalp against the Owls.
Ritchie Humphreys told the Hartlepool Mail:
'If I'm on the bench, I'd love to get on against my former club.
'For myself, Sweens (Tony Sweeney) and Boydy (Adam Boyd), the memories are there as they are for the whole town.
'We know we were so close and now we're trying to rebuild to get back in the position we were in 2005.
'It's important for us because they've started quite well.
'They've recruited some good players for our division so they'll have ambitions of going straight back up to the Championship.
'But if we can get a result tomorrow, we'll go above them in the league.
'What we've done up to now has been quite solid.
'We've been well-organised and we've looked a threat.'
Hartlepool United Team News:
Former Owl Ritchie Humphreys is desperate to face his former club after starting the last two games on the bench.
Humphreys, who came through the youth ranks at Wednesday, has been recovering from a knee injury picked up in pre-season but will have been going gung-ho in training this week in a bid to impress caretaker boss Mick Wadsworth for a starting role.
Striker Adam Boyd will undergo a late fitness test, again with a knee injury, but James Brown and Fabian Yantorno will both return.
Another former Owl in Steve Haslam is also expected to start for Hartlepool.
Player to watch: Haslam/Humphreys
Wednesday fans will be keen to keep an eye on the performances of former players Steve Haslam and Ritchie Humphreys. Haslam is likely to start in defence while Humphreys could start but is a more likely candidate for the substitutes bench.
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Alan Irvine is likely to make a number of changes to his side that fell to a 4-2 loss at Scunthorpe United in the midweek Carling Cup clash.
Both Marcus Tudgay and Neil Mellor, who started in the 1-0 win over Brighton last weekend, were demoted to the bench but are set to regain their places in place of Clinton Morrison and Paul Heffernan.
Captain Darren Purse will also return, as will fellow defenders Lewis Buxton and Tommy Spurr, with Richard Hinds, Jon Otsemobor and Daniel Jones being replaced respectively.
Giles Coke is also set for a return to the heart of the Owls midfield.
Wednesday have no fresh injury concerns for the match.
Player to watch: Marcus Tudgay
For a start, it'll be interesting to see if Tudgay starts amid the interest in him from Blackpool. If he does start, Owls fans will be hoping his first goal of the season in midweek triggers more goals from the former Derby County man.
Match Facts & Stats
Hartlepool wins: 1
Wednesday wins: 5
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 2-1 Hartlepool (League Cup)
Wednesday needed extra-time to see off 'Pool the last time the two sides met, in the League Cup. Ian Thomas-Moore had given the visitors the lead before Deon Burton took the game to extra-time and Yoann Folly netted a last-minute winner in extra-time to see the Owls through to the next round.
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