Sheffield Wednesday will be looking to respond tonight after back-to-back league defeats saw them sink to second-bottom in the Championship standings, though Neil Thompson’s task won’t be an easy one.
The Owls head to the capital to face promotion-chasing Brentford in a mouthwatering tie and a change in personnel is expected thanks to their poor recent form.
Thompson’s men were defeated by relegation rivals Birmingham City 1-0 on Saturday afternoon and the interim boss’ decision to change from a 3-5-2 system to a 4-4-2 failed to pay dividends.
And with young midfield talent Liam Shaw suspended, we’re expecting the Owls to revert back to their tried-and-tested formation.
So, here’s the Sheffield Wednesday XI we’re predicting this evening…
There could be four changes from the side that tasted defeat only four days ago.
In defence, Owls veterans – goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and ex-skipper Tom Lees – should remain as should the impressive Chey Dunkley but with the change back to a three-man wall, we’re likely to see young academy defender Osaze Urhoghide return to the starting lineup, having been unfairly dropped at Hillsborough at the weekend.
With this switch, Adam Reach is surely in line to start at left wing-back with Kadeem Harris dropping back to the role on the other flank. He started in front of Liam Palmer in a 4-4-2, so the Scotsman faces the axe.
As Shaw is out, there is a spot in midfield to fulfil. This is perhaps the biggest dilemma facing Thompson as Massimo Luongo is still out injured, as is Andre Green.
Barry Bannan and Sam Hutchinson are likely to continue, but then it comes down to whether the Owls interim manager wants the defensive steel of Joey Pelupessy or the more attack-minded influence of 24-year-0ld Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown.
We expect the latter to get the nod for only his fifth start of the season, and first since September.
In attack, we should see the fourth and final change with Jordan Rhodes replacing Josh Windass – the long-serving talisman was another who was unfairly dropped against the Blues, and given the 27-year-old couldn’t make an instant impact, he may have to drop to the bench.
Especially after Thompson’s post-match comments, in which he reiterated the need for immediate results – after all, the south Yorkshiremen are three points adrift of safety.