Sheffield Wednesday vs Swansea City
21st March 2009
Swansea City will be looking to recover from their first back-to-back League defeats in 107 games and get their play-off race back on track when we travel to Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow afternoon.
Roberto Martinez's side have struggled ever since Fulham knocked us out of the FA Cup in the 5th round. We followed that with a disappointing 1-1 home draw against bottom-club Charlton, a 2-2 draw at Derby, another draw against Nottingham Forest, a home win against Plymouth and 2 defeats against Crystal Palace and QPR respectively.
We've looked tired lately and Martinez tried to cure that by making 5 changes at QPR on Tuesday night, but we still struggled to perform and cause a threat at Loftus Road.
Therefore, the Swans boss is looking forward to the squad's much needed 2-week break, as international matches are played. Martinez has encouraged his players to get away, relax and get some sun on their backs as they look to recover and improve when they return for the remaining 6 games, or 'cup finals' as Roberto calls them.
Sheffield Wednesday welcome back the Kop Band which has received mixed views from Owls fans. Many dissaprove of their return and only a few are looking forward to the band performing at half time.
Sheffield Wednesday boss, Brian Laws:
'Swansea are recognised as one of the best footballing sides in the division.
'They are very similar to Doncaster in terms of approach play, they've worked together for a long time and the team hasn't changed dramatically.
'We have to be patient when they have the ball and not be dragged into areas where we shouldn't.
"We need to go into the break on the back of the win," he said. "This is going to be a huge game for us.
"Sheffield Wednesday will be a tough place to visit, but it`s a must-win game for us. There`s no two ways about it."
Sheffield Wednesday Team News:
Brian Laws has bolstered his squad ahead of the game with the loan signing of Derby County striker Luke Varney. He'll be available to play tomorrow.
Darren Potter and Tommy Spurr should be available again while Akpo Sodje is unlikely to play with a groin problem and Michael Gray will probably sit out with a shoulder injury.
Player to watch: Francis Jeffers
Here's what Vital Sheffield Wednesday says in their Preview:
The 'fox in the box' will be hoping to continue his recent goalscoring form, which has seen him net twice in the last two outings, against the Swans. Jeffers has yet to make his mark in the blue and white stripes, and will be looking to build on his brace of goals.
Swansea City Team News:
Roberto Martinez made 5 changes to his side on Tuesday night for our visit to Loftus Road including resting the likes of Jason Scotland and Leon Britton. They'll probably be back in the side tomorrow.
Garry Monk picked up no reaction after returning on Tuesday from a back injury and should keep his place alongside Ashley Williams. Albert Serran will be hoping to keep his left back spot as he fills in for Alan Tate (ankle).
In midfield, Butler and Gower will compete for the left wing spot, Nathan Dyer could return to right wing allowing Jordi Gomez to return his preferred central role. Darren Pratley and Joe Allen battle for a midfield spot.
Player to watch: Jason Scotland
He's only scored 2 goals in the last 6 after experiencing a superb run of form since the start of the year. We need him back to his goalscoring best tomorrow, but the midfield also need to work harder and provide him with goalscoring opportunities, they've been hard to come by recently.
Match Facts & Stats
Head to Head: Sheffield Wednesday Wins - 12, Draws - 8. Swansea Wins - 4.
Swansea City will be looking for thier first ever win away at Hillsborough. We'll want to forget the last time we visited there, we lost 6-1 in the old Division 2 in 1984.
Earlier on in the season, we drew 1-1 with Wednesday, but we really should have grabbed all 3 points. Bodde gave us the lead in the first half but Watson scored a 70th minute equaliser to share the points.
The Swans are still looking for their first away win since we beat Burnley more than 2 months ago in January.
Wednesday haven't won in their last 2 home games, their last win was 2-0 against Crystal Palace.
Swansea City have looked far from great in recent games, and are looking especially poor away from form. The fact Wednesday aren't competing for anything could help us slightly. Prediction: 1-1 draw.
Sunday 5th April
CARDIFF CITY VS SWANSEA CITY
11pm Kick Off
Live on Sky Sports