Preview: Coventry v SWFC
Wednesday boss Brian Laws takes his Owls' side to the Ricoh Arena on the lookout for another three points to shoot them up the Chammpionship tables - but knows it will be anything but easy against a Sky Blues' side desperate for points after losing their last three matches.
Coventry are hoping to put their mini losing run to a halt on Saturday in what is set to be a bumper crowd at the Ricoh thanks to the 4,000+ travelling Wednesday army - but the Owls victory at Ipswich Town last week will give Wednesday every hope of climbing in to the top half of the table for the first time this season with victory.
Owls' boss Brian Laws told the official SWFC site:
'The only concern is Madjid because we haven't seen him yet, he's been on international duty and we're hoping he's alright. He should be reporting for training on Friday so, fingers crossed, he's not injured when he does. When players go on international duty, you don't tend to get a quick response from them or their countries so it is a waiting game.
'We've had one or two knocks from Saturday against Ipswich, Kenny Lunt took a knock on the thigh but has come through that OK and Wade Small had a bit of a knock but has come through it. Frank Simek and John Hills have missed a couple of days training because of ankle injuries but they look like they're going to be OK.'
Sky Blues' defender Elliott Ward told the official CCFC site:
'I'm expecting a tough game and obviously they are in form at the minute and are scoring a few goals. They're going to come to the Ricoh with confidence so we're going to have to try and shoot them down and get the home win.
'It's always good to try and stop the run they are in and play against strikers who are in form to try and make sure they don't score. We're confident about what we're going to do and as long as we play football then I think we've got every chance.
'I think most of the defeats we've had have been harsh. We've played well for most of the season and we've deserved more than we have got so on Saturday, if there's a battle, we'll to looking to out-battle them, out-pass them and hopefully score a good few goals too.'
Coventry City Team News:
Coventry boss Micky Adams is set to ring the changes ahead of the match as he looks to put an end to the Sky Blues dismal losing run - which includes two defeats on what used to be 'fortress Ricoh'.
Veteran Don Hutchison is set to keep his place in midfield after impressing in the Sky Blues last game with Jay Tabb, Colin Cameron, Stephen Hughes and Chris Birchall all fighting for a midfield spot.
Former Owl Mikkel Bischoff is unlikely to feature after having a torrid time with injury problems since making the move to the Ricoh from Manchester City in the summer. Bischoff is rated as 50/50 after suffering a knee injury.
On a plus not for City, Stuart Giddings could come in to contention and will undergo a late fitness test after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Player to watch: Stern John
The Trinidad and Tobago and former Birmingham and Nottingham Forest hitman has continued to score for the Sky Blues in attack despite their recent slump in form - and boss Micky Adams will be relying on his predatory scoring skills to stop the rot on Saturday.
Wednesday Team News:
Brian Laws' only fitness doubt ahead of the clash is to key defende Madjid Bougherra after the Algerian international featured for his national side in a 2-1 defeat in midweek. Bougherra will undergo a late fitness test with Graham Coughlan waiting in the wings to replace 'Magik'.
Defenders Frank Simek and John Hills have both missed training sessions earlier in the week for the Owls after taking knocks in the 2-0 victory over Ipswich Town but both are expected to fit in time for the trip down the M1.
Kenny Lunt and Wade Small also picked up knocks at Portman Road but both are expected to be named in Laws' starting eleven for the match.
Player to watch: Marcus Tudgay
The former Derby County hitman has hit the best form of his career at just the right time for the Owls and will be key in dismantling the strong Coventry defence led by million-pound man Elliott Ward. Tudgay has netted six goals in his last six games and will want to continue the tally on Saturday.
Match Facts & Stats
Last Time Out:
Coventry City 2-1 WEDNESDAY
15th February 2006 - Ricoh Arena
The Owls first trip to the Ricoh ended in misery as 3,500 Owls fans made to trip south on a cold Tuesday night to see goals from Stern John and Gary McSheffrey claim victory for the Sky Blues. Chris Brunt netted a late consolation for the Owls but it wasn't to be for Paul Sturrock's men.
CCFC wins: 28
SWFC wins: 26
Coventry: Marshall, Duffy, Page, Ward, Hall, Tabb (Adebola 86), Hutchison (Cameron 87), Doyle, Clarke, John, McKenzie. Subs Not Used: Gonzlalez-Robles, Andrews, Birchall.
Wednesday: Crossley, Simek, Bullen, Bougherra, Hills, Small (Whelan 81), Lunt, Folly, Brunt (O'Brien 72), Tudgay, Burton (MacLean 89). Subs Not Used: Adamson, Coughlan.
Latest Form - Last 5:
-Taken from www.bet365.com-
CCFC win: 1/1
SWFC win: 12/5
Cardiff City v QPR
Birmingham v Wolves
Crystal Palace v Barnsley
Hull City v Stoke City
Leeds v Southampton
Leicester City v PNE
Luton Town v Derby County
Southend v Plymouth
Sunderland v Colchester
WBA v Burnely
Ipswich v Norwich
Vs Cardiff City (H) - 25/11/06
Vs West Brom (H) - 28/11/06
Vs Leicester City - 02/12/06