Can Wednesday start to make the most of home advantage?
11 March 2011 05:47
Owls Vs Magpies; Team news and preview Sheffield Wednesday play host to Notts County on Saturday, aiming to recreate the away form that has seen them pick up 7 points from their last 3 games on their travels. The Owls home form has been disappointing of late. Manager Gary Megson has encouraged his players to make the most of playing home games at Hillsborough, few teams in League One have the level of home support that Wednesday generate but they must try and start on the front foot. In recent home games slow starts have seen Wednesday go two goals down early on which obviously has a detrimental effect on confidence. The Owls may be forced to make changes to the side that won 3-2 at Oldham on Tuesday evening. Striker Gary Madine limped off during the 1st half at Boundary Park and will have his fitness assessed prior to this weekend’s game. Clinton Morrison took Madine’s place on Tuesday and could be set to start should Madine not prove his fitness. Although Morrison did a good job on Tuesday his strengths may not be ideally suited to the role of lone striker and Megson may have to consider a change of formation. Midfielder Giles Coke was ruled out of the Oldham game late on due to a hamstring problem and he will also be assessed ahead of Saturday’s match. Notts County have been dealt a blow with the news that promising defender Krystian Pearce is unlikely to feature again this season. The 21-year-old has played in the majority on County’s games this season but suffered a head injury in training last week and has been ruled out as a result. The visitors are however boosted by the recent return of on loan Liverpool defender Stephen Darby and former Owls defender Graeme Lee was recalled to the starting line-up in midweek as a result of Pearce’s injury lay off. Former Wednesday goalkeeper Rob Burch is likely to be on the bench. Despite their improved away form the Owls have struggled to find the right formula at Hillsborough this year. They have not won any of their 4 home league games in 2011 with the last one ending in a 4-2 defeat to Plymouth Argyle last Saturday. Notts County have not won in their last 3 matches and have lost their last 2. The Magpies have won just twice in 14 attempts on the road in the league this season and are currently 4 points behind the Owls in the League One table though they have played 2 games less. The two sides have already met twice this season with Wednesday winning on occasions, 2-1 at Hillsborough in the Football League trophy in September and 2-0 at Meadow Lane in the league in October. The Magpies have only won 6 times in 36 attempts away to the Owls, losing on 21 of their visits.