Sheffield Wednesday | Preview: Ipswich v Owls
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Ipswich Town vs. Wednesday

Portman Road, Ipswich

Saturday, August 11


Preview: Ipswich v Owls

At last, the football's back!

It doesn't seem so long since the Owls were finishing off their campaign against Norwich City at Hillsborough, but we're already back in action with a trip to Portman Road to open the 2007-08 campaign.

The Owls have good memories of Portman Road, not because of the victory there last season which marked Brian Laws' first game in charge of Wednesday, but because their opening day clash in 1990 saw the Owls dominate an Ipswich side en-route to promotion.

And Wednesday will be hoping to repeat that on Saturday as 2500 Owls fans make the long trip down to Ipswich as Brian Laws pits his wits against former Owl Jim Magilton.

Vital Quotes:

Owls boss Brian Laws told the Yorkshire Post:

'We have brought players in and I believe we have players with the quality, the commitment, the desire, and the belief to do well in this league.

'We have been looking
to secure a top quality striker over the summer and we certainly have that now, going into the new season, which is a really big boost for Sheffield Wednesday.

'We have exciting players like Jermaine Johnson and Chris Brunt, who can do wonders with a football. We have signed Steve Watson, who is a great player with a great pedigree who knows how to win games and is great in the dressing room. We have quality that can hurt opposition teams and we will be very attack-minded.'

Ipswich boss Jim Magilton told the Sheffield Star:

'We have got to finish higher than last season, anything less will not do. A top 10 place is where I want to be and this is the aim.

'Our standards will never lessen, and on our day we can beat any side in the Coca-Cola Championship.

'I feel we can win at home, and it is important that we improve our form away from home.'

Ipswich Town Team News:

Town have been handed a huge pre-match boost with the news that key man Alan Lee will be fit and available for selection despite being involved in a car accident this week.

The Republic of Ireland frontman will join Pablo Couñago, who rejoined the club this summer, in attack as Jim Magilton's men look to have an improved season after last term.

But Town will be without midfielder Gavin Williams who has been ruled out for four months after damaging ankle ligaments in the recent 2-0 friendly victory over Panathinaikos.

But former Fulham midfielder Sylvain Legwinski could be drafted back in to replace Williams, after the Frenchman picked up an injury of his own back in March, but he could be available to partner former Owls target Tommy Miller in the Ipswich midfield.

Other injured players for Jim Magilton's men include Richard Naylor who is sidelined for three months while young hitman Dean Bowditch is also missing.

But Town will give a full debut to former Cardiff stopper Neil Alexander while former Owl Alex Bruce is also likely to start in the Town defence.

Player to watch: Alan Lee

The former Rotherham United man will be the key player for the hosts after recovering from a car accident this week and will provide a big presence in the Town attack.

Wednesday Team News:

Wednesday will be sweating on the fitness of Deon Burton after the former Derby man was rested for the final friendly against Birmingham last weekend.

Burton had a niggling knee injury and Laws could stick with Marcus Tudgay in attack to partner former Town loanee and new Wednesday signing Francis Jeffers in attack.

Lee Grant is likely to get the nod in attack, while Frank Simek is set to return to his regular right-back slot, alongside Richard Wood, Lee Bullen and Peter Gilbert in the Wednesday defence.

New signing Steve Watson is set to get his first league run out since joining the Owls this summer alongside Glenn Whelan in midfield while Laws will be relying on the skills of wingers Jermaine Johnson and Chris Brunt.

Player to watch: Francis Jeffers

It just has to be doesn't it? Not only is the former Arsenal and Everton hitman filling the number nine shirt at S6 after months of trying, but he'll be returning to his former loan team where he notched four goals in seven appearances towards the end of last season.

Match Facts & Stats

Last Time Out:

Wednesday 2-0 Ipswich


Wednesday made it 2-0 for the second time in the season against Jim Magilton's men, as goals from Glenn Whelan and Steve Maclean after the break saw Wednesday maintain their late challenge for a play-off spot with a comfortable victory - over a team including Owls new boy Francis Jeffers.


Wednesday wins: 16
Ipswich wins: 12
Draws: 5

Next Fixtures:

16/08/07 - Rotherham United (A,Cup) - 7.45pm

19/08/07 - Wolves (H) - 1.30pm

25/08/07 - Charlton (A) - 3pm

The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 10 2007

Time: 1:09PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
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10/08/2007 13:40:00

jeffers to hit net
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 14:07:00

Prediction....2-0 Ipswich...........!
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 14:40:00

I think we've got a good chance of getting something out of this. Ipswich are going to struggle this season. Probably be a draw - our first games usually are - but with a fit squad (when could we last say that at the start of a season?) we should be looking to hit the ground running.
Disgruntled Owl
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 15:26:00

2-0 come on you Blue&White Wizzards
will it ever happen
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 15:45:00

owls 2 tractor boys 1 jeffers n brunt
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 16:11:00

Sshh, keep quiet about having a fully fit squad, you'll jinx it! lol
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 17:18:00

Apparently Laws is hoping Burton is fit so he can start. I'd rather have Tudgay/Jeffers partnership than Burton.
Disgruntled Owl
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 20:14:00

isnt brunt suspended???
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 20:58:00

i think brunt got 3 match suspension for reserves
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 21:08:00

have you seen the comments pages on ipswich......there isnt any!
Report Abuse
10/08/2007 23:13:00

brunts suspension starts after this game, burton has got the reserve team ban, but come on lets ave it!!!!
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 08:35:00

sorry but we will take you guys to the cleaners!!!! and just cos u guys have signed a half decent player, u actually think that u guys are a gd team! let todays game do the talking!
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 12:32:00

townsman im not saying our team is perfect but with players like simek, wood, brunt, johnson,whelen,tudgay and jeffers the owls are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season . C'mon Wednesday! Prediction 3-1 wednesday brunt,jeffers and bullen
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 14:10:00

2-0 down after 11 minutes - looks like it's going to be a long season.
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 15:24:00

make that 3-0 after 25 - something is very wrong - Allen out.
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 15:27:00

oh dear, well i predicted 3-1 but as im writing now were 4-0 down,lets hope in 9 months we will all be laughing about this as were celebrating promotion, alhough somehow i just cant see it.
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 16:22:00

glad its the 1st week..........but as u saw the first shooker earlierrr spurs loosin to sunderland
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 16:31:00

Absolute joke. 1st week or not, we're screwed. And we've got Wolves and Charlton up soon. Ipswich are ***** compared to them.
Disgruntled Owl
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 16:53:00

Well, Well, Well.......looks as though Town thrashed the Owls. Looks as though all of ure predictions were reversed! UP THE TRACTOR BOYS!!!! This is too sweet!
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 17:37:00

Bullen and Gilbert need to be replaced by a cash signing and a loan before the end of August or we're screwed.
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 18:21:00

Inclined to agree. We need a good centre back now.
Disgruntled Owl
Report Abuse
11/08/2007 19:27:00

Still down here are you? LOL.
Blue is the colour
Report Abuse
12/08/2007 00:02:00

i dont understand why we havent bothered with a centre back, who have we got theer thats decent to partner wood?? its a joke, all summer weve been chasing a striker and not bothering about a defender? 4 *****ng 1 wot a joke
Report Abuse
12/08/2007 00:53:00

What the F**K, i go on vital ipswich......see 10 individual news headlines and none have any comments. But yet we have ipswich fans come here and post comments to gloat, lol. Shame on you. Bullen should be wise enough to know, he has to go. If the budget is too tight, lead by example GET OUT. At 37 he has no pace and no movement. He's just a big lump that can only head the ball now. I hope Deon Burton is fit for wolves game, he's a goalscorer, target man and brings influence to the side. Jeffers + Burton = Goals.
Report Abuse
12/08/2007 09:11:00


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