The small matter of the Steel City derby takes place this evening as Sheffield Wednesday travel to Sheffield United.
The home side, too, are the favourites but in a derby anything can happen – especially with this one.
Here, then, we caught up with Louis Shackshaft of the Championship Podcast to help preview the clash from a Sheffield Wednesday fan’s perspective:
A game that needs no introduction, how big is this week’s edition of the Steel City derby for the Owls?
It’s huge, obviously there’s the rivalry but this contest may also mark the end for Jos Luhukay if he’s not careful. First and foremost, Wednesday need to come away having not lost at full time or at least put on an entertaining performance for the fans. A clean sheet would be a dream come true but very unrealistic. The Owls have lost four games on the bounce going into this fixture and a little faith needs to be restored, fast.
After the loss against Norwich, which selection changes need to be made by Luhukay?
Good question, obviously the defence is a huge concern at present. Michael Hector simply has to start on Friday. Regarding the rest of the squad, I believe a lack of confidence is a major issue and not necessarily the squad selection. Wednesday do have some fantastic individual players who can win a game but I can’t see Luhukay enforcing a major shakeup for this fixture.
If the Owls do lose, can you see Luhukay being sacked after the game?
Honestly, no. Dejphon Chansiri doesn’t make rash decisions and I’m sure he will give Lukukay a few more months to hopefully turn Wednesday’s fortunes around. Whether I believe that would be the correct decision is another question. Then again, with the international break just around the corner, it could, however, be the perfect time to sack the gaffer, couldn’t it?
Despite recent poor form, the Owls obviously have match-winners in the side – who are you looking at to make the key difference on Friday night?
Although every player needs to rise to the occasion on Friday, you can’t look any further than Barry Bannan and Adam Reach, they’ve been up there as our stand out players this term. Both are capable of a bit of magic whether that’s in front of goal or unlocking a defence with a pin-point pass. Wednesday will have to be on their ‘A game’ defensively though before they can even consider making a breakthrough in attack.
My heart tells me that Wednesday can come away from this game with a point, I would take a score draw right now, as would most Owls fans. I hate to say it but my head believes United on home turf will run out 2-0 winners, we’re leaking goals for fun at present, so 2-0 is probably a more realistic scoreline. I hope I’m wrong!