Owls must swoop on chance to catch Blades

Like some hideous see-saw in the playground of hard knocks and tough surprises, second place and promotion from this god-forsaken league passes between us and our porcine neighbours with every turn.

After a ravishing victory in West Yorkshire, in which Leira began his challenge for coveted title of ‘our favourite player’ alongside Semedo and Reda, the pigs only went and beat Bournemouth.

Then, despite some tired legs, we efficiently dispatch Oldham three-nil (with another goal and pin-point assist from the sublime Spaniard).

And chuff me, the blunts not only beat struggling Rochdale, but match our goal difference as well. We might as well have not bothered.

Ooooh, but it’s tense. It’s like a penalty shoot out – surely one of us is going to blink first? Or, in fact, maybe neither of us will and we can enjoy the dubious honour of being the only team in the history of football to get 95 points and still not go up automatically.

According to expert calculations only two teams in the last 20 years have failed to go up automatically from any division having accumulated 90 points or more.

They are, Sunderland, who amassed 90 points in 1998 and Wigan who totalled 91 in 1992. Wigan were promoted as there were no play-offs, but Sunderland lost in the final to Charlton (incidentally after beating the Piggies in the semis).

With current form, it’s looking increasingly likely that either us or our noisy, slightly distasteful neighbours will be the third entrant to that unfortunate club.

After many desperate weekday afternoons in the office trying to work out potential banana skins and goal difference swings that could somehow let us sneak it at the death, the decisive turning point has so far failed to materialise. Until now perhaps?

Wednesday fans will not need reminding that a certain Welshman who has scored (in the football sense) more than his fair share of goals this season will be polishing his snout and trotting into court throughout next week. Ched Evans, currently facing a rape charge, has without doubt been the driving force behind United’s season and it will be interesting to see how they will fair when they entertain Leyton Orient at the sty either with a distracted prized possession or even without him?

Meanwhile, Wednesday will take on a Colchester side who are in all likelihood going to fall just short of the play offs, even with a remarkable run of results.

Is this the chance?