Sheffield Wednesday head into the weekend’s fixture looking to consolidate their place in the top six following their strong win last week.
The Owls are currently well in the hunt for promotion under Garry Monk after dipping in and out of the play-offs in recent months, but they broke in last time out at the expense of Swansea following their surprise win over Leeds United last Saturday.
Wednesday arrived at Elland Road looking to halt a run of three straight league defeats but were in high spirits after their FA Cup win away at Brighton, and continued this form with a very impressive 2-0 over the automatic promotion hopefuls, Leeds.
Wednesday are currently in the play-offs on just goal difference alone and the gap for the top six is refusing to widen, making it an even more enthralling race in the second half of the season.
Up next for the Owls is a home clash against Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn Rovers who have top-six aspirations of their own, albeit very slim ones. However, no win in six for Blackburn has seen them slip down the table and just into the bottom half.
Here, we take a look at how we expect Garry Monk to lineup his side as they search for back-to-back wins in the league…
Monk fielded a rather unorthodox 4-1-4-1 formation against Leeds as they looked to stifle any of the Whites’ creativity. However, being at home against a side they will back themselves to beat, Wednesday will most likely return to their more tried and trusted 4-4-2 formation, which Monk has found comfort in for the Owls.
In goal will remain Cameron Dawson who has been very impressive since stepping into the firing line for Keiren Westwood, helping prop up a solid defence with confident goalkeeping, which he showed in abundance last time out.
In front of him will be an unchanged back four of Osaze Urhoghide, Dominic Iorfa, Julian Borner, and Morgan Fox. The 19-year-old right-back, Urhoghide, has been immense in both his FA Cup and Championship debuts, keeping clean sheets away from home against sides more than fancied to win against the Owls, with his individual performances a key reason for those triumphs. Along with this, there is no reason why the centre-back pairing should change at the minute given their efforts at Elland Road and Fox is indispensable at the minute.
In a midfield four, Kieran Lee misses out as the Owls will look to be a bit more expansive in their play rather than compact, so the remaining four midfielders keep their place from the last game. That midfield will be Jacob Murphy, Massimo Luongo, Barry Bannan, and Adam Reach.
This midfield helped control what would have been a very difficult game against Leeds and they will be looking to do that much more at Hillsborough against Blackburn. It might be a tad harsh on Kadeem Harris to be left out against, however, Murphy was key in securing that late win with his strike putting Wednesday in front last time out.
Garry Monk is very much a manager that feeds of the momentum of his squad and the current mentality they hold, so there is no need to change players that have played well, as the old saying goes: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
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Up front will be the strike pairing of Jordan Rhodes and Atdhe Nuhiu. Sam Winnall started on his own up front and was largely ineffectual at Leeds and that’s why there needs to be a change in approach here, especially with the Owls at home and looking to dominate proceedings.
Nuhiu’s influence was massive on the game as he assisted the opener before clinching the points deep into stoppage time with a very well-taken strike.
Rhodes will partner him and look to recapture the form that made him one of the most deadly strikers in the EFL when they signed him. He has shown glimpses of this at Wednesday with his hattrick against Nottingham Forest a prime example, and facing his former club Blackburn could be the prime opportunity.