Changes in store for stuttering Owls?

17 September 2010 01:16
Argyle Vs Wednesday: Team news & preview Sheffield Wednesday will be looking to put an end to a spell that has seen them slip to back to back league defeats when they travel to Plymouth Argyle on Saturday. A 1-0 loss at Brentford was followed by a home defeat to Carlisle by the same score-line and saw the club drop from top spot to a position outside the top six in League One. Those matches were interspersed by headline news surrounding the court case brought against the club by HMRC and the revelation that the club were dangerously close to being unable to meet the payment obligations. Such issues cannot have helped the preparations and focus of the team and Alan Irvine will have been relieved that this past week has been a relatively slow news week as far as the Owls are concerned. It is hard to believe that these matters won’t rise up again in the near future but for now at least the team should be able to concentrate primarily on the football itself. Apart from Jermaine Johnson, Irvine has a full squad to choose from and may make changes bearing in mind the last two performances. Aside from the results Wednesday have failed to muster many clear cut scoring chances in the past two games and options are available if the manager sees fit. Striker Neil Mellor is expected to return to the squad, Paul Heffernan could be pushing for a rare start up front whilst the likes of Sedgwick and Potter could find their places in the side under threat with James O’Connor and Tommy Miller coming into contention. The home side will be boosted by the news that captain Carl Fletcher is expected to play; the midfielder has missed their previous two matches due to a thigh injury. Goalkeeper David Button picked up an ankle injury in Argyle’s last fixture and is being assessed by the medical team at parent club Tottenham Hotspur. Button should be replaced in goal by veteran Romain Larrieu, who has made over 200 appearances for the Pilgrims. Midfielders Yannick Bolasie, Luke Summerfield and Rory Fallon, who scored when the two sides met at Hillsborough last season, remain sidelined. Left-back Lee Molyneux was sent off during last weekends draw at Colchester and will miss out due to a suspension. Ex-Owls favourite Steve MacLean has appeared twice from the start and three times as a substitute for Plymouth so far this season and is likely to be in the squad. Plymouth got their season off to a flying start with victory at much-fancied Southampton but have not won since, drawing 2 and losing 2 in the league to leave them without a home win so far. Wednesday’s 5-0 victory at Hartlepool at the end of August is the Owls only away win in their last 14 matches on the road dating back to February. The Owls recorded a 3-1 win at Home Park last season and also won the reverse fixture at Hillsborough by 2 goals to 1. A 4-0 drubbing in October 2008 is Wednesday’s only defeat in their last 5 visits to Plymouth.