Wednesday host Carlisle in top of the table clash

10 September 2010 09:01
Owls looking to get back to winning ways After a week fraught with financial turmoil at Hillsborough Sheffield Wednesday will be happy to put such issues to one side for the time being to concentrate on trying to maintain their position at the top of League One. Carlisle United travel south with an unbeaten league record so far this season and victory would see them leapfrog Wednesday in the league table. The Owls are still without winger Jermaine Johnson due to injury but other than that manager Alan Irvine has no injury or suspension problems to concern him. Wednesday were very much second best in suffering their first league defeat of the season at Brentford last Sunday and Irvine must consider whether or not to make changes to the side that had served him so well previously. Changes to the back four are unlikely but should he choose to tweak his starting eleven then midfielders James O’Connor and Tommy Miller as well as striker Clinton Morrison will all come into contention. Second placed Carlisle are likely to include at least one familiar face to Owls fans in their starting line up. American right-back Frank Simek left Hillsborough in the summer when his contract expired and he joined the Cumbrians on a free transfer. During his 5 years at S6 Simek was a fans favourite but the latter stages of his spell at the club were badly affected by injuries. The full-back has featured in all of Carlisle’s games to date this season. Graham Kavanagh, who played over 20 games for the Owls in the 2007/08 season, may also be in the Carlisle squad although he is yet to start a game this season. Elusive forward Francois Zoko and strike partner Gary Madine are likely to provide the main threat to the Owls but the visitors could be without a number of first team players including Kavan Hurst, Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and Danny Livesey. Carlisle are unbeaten in five league games this season but have drawn their last two matches. Wednesday lost for the first tie in League One last weekend but they have won four out of four in all competitions at home this season and have not conceded a goal in their two league matches at Hillsborough so far this campaign. The Owls have lost just one of their last ten matches on home soil dating back to last season. The last meeting between the two sides was at Brunton Park in the Football League Trophy in 2003 where the Owls ran out 3-0 winners and Wednesday also won at Carlisle in the F.A. Cup in 1997, by two goals to nil. The two sides have not met in the league for over 25 years and in 9 the previous encounters at Hillsborough the Owls are yet to taste defeat, winning on 5 occasions.