The Garry Monk era got off to a good start for Sheffield Wednesday last weekend as they won away at Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town.
Up next, the first home game for the former Swansea City manager, and that sees the Owls take on Fulham.
1. A good early win for Garry Monk, what did you make of the way he set the Owls up?
His set-up in terms of formation was no surprise, we’ve been typically playing four at the back with one man up top and wingers either side all season. I think Kieran Lee’s exclusion from the starting eleven came as a surprise but he may come straight back into the side on Saturday. Obviously, there were questions on Jordan Rhodes who wasn’t even in the match-day squad, let’s see what the future holds for him under Monk. It was a professional performance and more importantly, we took our chances when they came.
2. And, that in mind, can you see him changing his set up this weekend?
Slightly. As were are at home in the upcoming contest, we need to be playing on the front foot. I would imagine he’ll set up in a 4-1-4-1 formation that adapts to 4-3-3 as we attack. He may exclude Jacob Murphy from the starting eleven and play Reach out wide, with Bannan and Lee in the middle with Hutchinson holding. I’d like to see that. This would still allow Harris and Fletcher to still do what they do best, they have been two of our form players so far this term.
3. Fulham were an early-season promotion favourite – how much threat do you feel they carry?
A hell of a lot. They probably have the best forward line in the division. Mitrovic, Knockaert and Cavaleiro are a dream front three in this league, that’s not forgetting Cairney who sits behind. That’s not to say they aren’t vulnerable, they’ve conceded as many goals as us. If Wednesday can keep hold of possession and maintain the ball in their half more often than not, we have a chance of winning. Keeping their opportunities to a minimum is key, I’m sure Hutchinson will play a key role in this tie.
4. Equally, if you can beat them, will that boost belief that the Owls are the real deal this year?
It’s still early days, but, this is a fixture that will give us a good indication of how good or not so good we may be under Monk. For me, this is the toughest encounter we will have faced all season. Fulham are the real deal and I fully expect them to finish in the playoffs minimum come the end of the season. If we beat them, it will give us a massive lift. In many ways, our season starts on Saturday.
5. Score prediction
This tie is so tough to predict. As this is Garry Monk’s first game in charge at Hillsborough, form goes out of the window slightly. My head is telling me they will be goals and 2-2 is the most likely scoreline. However, if Wednesday play with the added spark of a new manager, I don’t see why we can’t nick this 2-1. I’m going to be greedy and leave you with those two score predictions, I just simply can’t see Fulham not scoring.