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Black Cats On The Prowl

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3 points. Oh the elusive 3 points. We’re still in search of them as we head into our third league game of the 2017/18 Championship campaign although we were close to getting them in the second half last weekend. Hopefully that second half performance against QPR is the sign of things to come as tonight it’s the turn of Sunderland to visit Hillsborough as they aim to bounce back into the Premier League at the first attempt under their new gaffer and former Owls loanee, Simon Grayson.

The Black Cats have stuttered into life before impressing against Norwich City on Sunday afternoon (that’s why we’re playing tonight and didn’t play last night) and no doubt the former Owl in their ranks, Aiden McGeady is looking to get one over a club who he didn’t really have the most auspicious of times at.

Wednesday won’t have any new faces in the team tonight, although that may change by the weekend. But we need three points… It’s that simple.

Wednesday....

Well, there’s been a host of ‘troubles’ over the last few days for the Owls, from the disciplinary ‘issue’ with Fernando Forestieri to the raft of injuries picked up over the weekend against QPR. The biggest problem is no doubt in central defence, we of course lost Glenn Loovens early on at the weekend with a back problem and with only Tom Lees as our other senior recognised centre back, it meant Daniel Pudil stepped in. With Loovens still struggling the effects of that whack, it seems like the Czech Republic international will continue to deputise in Loovens’ absence should the Dutchman not be fit enough to face the Black Cats. Which would probably mean Adam Reach drops back to left back to fill that void, as Morgan Fox isn’t getting a look in at the moment.

In midfield we won’t see Sam Hutchinson tonight, he too picked up an injury against the R’s so expect a straight swap with David Jones in the engine room there. But the problems don’t stop there, Barry Bannan, was struggling with a knock but his prognosis doesn’t seem as bad although Almen Abdi will want to deputise no doubt.

Up front then, Forestieri is expected to play some part tonight although if he drops back into the starting XI is another thing. Sam Winnall certainly staked his claim with a good performance and the equalising goal at the weekend, but with Gary Hooper and Jordan Rhodes ahead of him it depends which way Carlos Carvalhal sets up his side to how many forwards will feature from the start. Steven Fletcher is another who needs a checkup before the team is named this evening.

Sunderland….

The visiting side will be without the services of Josh Maja tonight, the striker is seeing a specialist over a niggling knee injury. Brian Oviedo and Jack Rodwell however will be part of the squad involved at Hillsborough though as they came through their recent game with Norwich unscathed after recent injury woes.

Sunderland have won their last two games away from the Stadium of Light and as mentioned, after beating Norwich at the weekend, the Black Cat’s tails are up and they’re looking forward to the challenge of facing the Owls.

Some Stats V the Black Cats….

It’s over ten years since the two clubs have met and let’s just say our visitors tonight have a very good record over the last few meetings we had. Although there have only been four league meetings since the last win for the Wednesday in League competition, it was TWENTY years ago when goals from Dejan Stefanovic and David Hirst overturned an early Kevin Ball goal to see the Owls to victory.

However, in the middle of the spell since then, there was a memorable 4-2 victory at Hillsborough over Sunderland when the enigmatic Michele Di Piedi scored a goal to remember before Pablo Bonvin finished off the visitors in extra time in the League Cup as the game ended 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Wednesday are looking to narrow the deficit in the head to head record between the clubs although it’s not a wide gap. The Black Cats have won 3 more games in clashes between the two clubs (48-45) and 27 games have ended in a draw.

Final Thoughts…

One thing that was obvious on Saturday against QPR is that we’re more than capable of having a go at sides. However, we did look suspect at the back… Again something which isn’t really a surprise of late. With the return of Forestieri he COULD provide a spark, one which he’s both capable of and one which we arguably need a little more of.

Winnall’s work rate and finish at the weekend mean he could line up alongside his ‘friend’ and it would be interesting to see how that pans out. But there’s nothing other to expect than professionalism from both of them, should they feature.

Lets hope we have a second half V QPR performance tonight, give the fans more to be positive about.

Prediction…

Wednesday 1 Sunderland 1

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Unread article 16/08/2017 at 14:46

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