Sheffield Wednesday return to Hillsborough tomorrow night, as they face promotion contenders Sunderland in what looks set to be a crucial League One clash.
Both sides are in desperate need of a win amid their underwhelming form, with the Owls failing to turn ties into wins after drawing their last four league games and are now five points adrift of the top six.
After facing AFC Wimbledon, Lincoln City and recently-promoted sides Cambridge United and Cheltenham Town in these four matches, all of which were arguably winnable games, they will have seen this mini-run of draws as a major missed opportunity in their quest to get back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
Quiz: Do you know what club these 28 ex-Sunderland players are playing at now?
For visitors Sunderland, they will be desperate to bounce back from their hideous 5-1 away loss at Rotherham United at the weekend, dropping down to fifth because of this loss and their home defeat to strugglers Charlton Athletic in the tie previous to their meeting with the Millers.
Previously sitting at the top of the table, they are now fighting in the play-offs and could soon find themselves outside the top six completely if they lose against Darren Moore’s men tomorrow night and continue their poor form after this clash in South Yorkshire.
Ahead of this massive tie for both Moore and Black Cats manager Lee Johnson, we have all the information you need to know.
Latest team news
After missing the weekend’s game against Cheltenham, Wednesday centre-back Dominic Iorfa is set to be assessed ahead of tomorrow night, although it remains unclear whether he will make the cut or not. His return would be a major boost for the home team.
Central midfield duo Massimo Luongo and George Byers are back in full-contact training in good news for the Owls ahead of their full returns, although it may be a while before we see them back with manager Moore opting not to risk Lewis Gibson and Sam Hutchinson at the weekend.
The club are reportedly in talks with his parent club Everton over his future, which is unsurprising considering his lack of game time in South Yorkshire thus far after a reasonably unsuccessful spell at Reading last term.
For the visitors, they will be without key man Aiden McGeady after his sending off against Rotherham at the weekend and Denver Hume who was forced off against QPR in midweek and faces a couple of months out.
Leon Dajaku did come back in time for the game at the New York Stadium after going off against the R’s which is a boost, but they will be reeling from Hume’s absence considering their lack of depth at left-back.
Alex Pritchard was one man who did miss the weekend with a neck problem – and will be hoping to be involved in tomorrow’s game – though he may start on the bench with Elliot Embleton’s availability.
Is there a live stream?
Both clubs are able to provide live streams of the game due to the fact it won’t be subject to blackout rules, which only apply to Saturday afternoon clashes.
A video pass from iFollow Wednesday is available for £10, with visitors Sunderland providing their own service for this match, giving potential viewers various different options if they are unable to make it to Hillsborough and want to watch this mouth-watering game from the comfort of their sofa.
For those who would rather listen to the match, BBC Radio Newcastle is an option, although BBC Radio Sheffield seem to be focusing on the Sheffield United and Rotherham games instead.
As a local team though, there will probably be updates for people who would rather have Wednesday-biased commentary.
What time is kick-off?
Tomorrow evening’s match in Sheffield gets underway at 7:45pm in front of what could be a packed crowd considering the magnitude of this midweek meeting, along with six other third-tier clashes. Here they are:
- Charlton Athletic vs Rotherham United
- Crewe Alexandra vs Doncaster Rovers
- Fleetwood Town vs Wigan Athletic
- Morecambe vs Cambridge United
- Portsmouth vs Cheltenham Town
- Wycombe Wanderers vs Ipswich Town
A win tonight for either side could be huge for their promotion prospects – and would certainly give them the platform to go into their following tie with some much-needed confidence.