Where and when:
Sunday January 7th 1006, Hillsborough.
Both sides go into this encounter on the back of some impressive recent form. City with three successive victories whilst Wednesday have surged up the table since Brian Laws took over as manager, although they had a set back in their last game against Hull.
Sheffield Wednesday defender Madjid Bougherra is suspended while Wayne Andrews has returned to Coventry, but Wade Small is fit after a knee injury. David Graham is available after returning from a loan spell Steven MacLean is hoping for a recall.
Stephen Ireland is expected to return after a hamstring injury, but maybe content with a place on the bench. Joey Barton is suspended while Claudio Reyna and Dietmar Hamann remain out injured.
Keys to the game:
We have had a habit of struggling against lower division sides away from home under Pearce, with performances as abject as the result themselves. I feel we need to assert ourselves on the game early, and match them physically so our superior ability should show through.
Defensively, we will no doubt come under pressure so a strong Dunne-Distin partnership is vital whilst the midfield needs to turn in a strong performance.
Former City youngster Glenn Whelan will get the chance to show what we missed out on by letting him go, whilst Nicky Weaver returns to the club where he spent part of last season on loan - a move which rebuilt his career following his terrible run of injuries.
Why City will win:
We will have too much quality for a Wednesday side who are probably playing above themselves of late. Buoyed by a three-game winning streak we should have the confidence to control the game.
Why City will lose:
It has the potential to be an upset as we go to a lower division side bang in form with a big crowd behind them. Plus Graham Poll is refereeing.
Sheffield Wednesday 1 City 2.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Where and when: