This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Sheffield Wednesday return to Championship action this weekend when they face a trip to the Hawthorns to face league leaders West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon.
Garry Monk’s men have mostly enjoyed a two-week break from the league as they look to recharge their batteries ahead of a hectic festive period, although how much their off the field predicament will affect them on the pitch remains to be seen.
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They’ll be buoyed by the fact that the Baggies will be without two players that have started every single game for them this campaign as Romaine Sawyers and skipper Jake Livermore endure a one-match suspension.
While the 40-year-old will be able to call upon some of the players that have been on international duty, such as Atdhe Nuhiu and Liam Palmer, although the latter’s latest showing left plenty to be desired.
The Wednesday right-back played his third straight 90 minutes in a Scotland shirt as they defeated Cyprus 2-1 in a pretty meaningless Euro 2020 qualifying match.
Per SofaScore, Palmer lost possession 17 times, which was the second-most in the team, failed to provide any key passes or accurate crosses, and recorded a poor passing accuracy of 65%.
Overall, it was a pretty shocking afternoon for the 28-year-old, however, Monk must stick with him going into this weekend’s fixture.
Even if there are calls for Moses Odubajo to make a return.
Palmer offers more defensive stability – recording more interceptions and clearances, as well as fewer fouls, via WhoScored – than the Steve Bruce signing.
Albion pose a huge attacking threat with their attacking midfield options. Grady Diangana, Matty Phillips, and Matheus Pereira have combined for 82% of their 29 league goals this season, and the Owls stalwart is the best option to counteract their danger.
The right-back situation can be revisited after Saturday’s game, although there’s a tough run of fixtures ahead.