Sheffield Wednesday will host Watford on Wednesday evening, aiming to move closer to escaping the relegation zone in the Championship.
While Sheffield Wednesday currently sit in 23rd place in the standings, Watford are in 10th place and within reach of the playoff spots.
Danny Rohl’s tenure as Sheffield Wednesday manager has seen seven wins from 19 matches, but the club is still far from safety.
Despite collecting six points from their last four Championship fixtures, Sheffield Wednesday has been hindered by the teams above them consistently adding to their points tally.
Recently, Sheffield Wednesday faced Coventry City twice, losing 2-1 in the league on January 13 and drawing 1-1 in the FA Cup fourth round six days later. The winner of the replay will face non-league Maidstone United in the last-16 tie.
However, Rohl’s main focus is to stay within touching distance of 21st place, with Huddersfield Town being their next opponent. Currently, there is a six-point gap between the two teams.
Meanwhile, Watford deserves credit for staying in contention for a top-six finish, which is a result of their support for Valerien Ismael.
Watford has only suffered two defeats in their last 13 matches across all competitions and is currently on a six-game unbeaten streak, although they have drawn four of those matches.
Their two victories came with a 2-1 scoreline against Chesterfield and Queens Park Rangers. Although these performances were not convincing, Ismael seems satisfied with the team’s response.
In their most recent league game, Watford drew 1-1 against Bristol City, and in the FA Cup fourth round, they also drew 1-1 against Southampton, with the Saints equalizing in the 89th minute, which was a disappointment for Ismael.
In the previous encounter between Sheffield Wednesday and Watford in October, Watford secured a 1-0 victory with a late goal from Yaser Asprilla.
Sheffield Wednesday Championship form: L L W W L L
Sheffield Wednesday form (all competitions): W W W L L D
Watford Championship form: W L D D W D
Watford form (all competitions): D D W W D D
Following changes made for the FA Cup tie against Coventry, Rohl may revert back to the starting lineup that played in Sheffield Wednesday’s previous league fixture.
This would mean Liam Palmer, Will Vaulks, and Ashley Fletcher all returning to the starting lineup. New signing Ike Ugbo is also likely to feature in attack.
Goalkeeper James Beadle should return, but Dominic Iorfa and Callum Paterson remain sidelined due to injury.
Ismael is also expected to make changes to his Watford side due to the three-day turnaround. Players who were rested on Sunday will likely return to the team.
Matheus Martins will hope to keep his place after scoring against Southampton, while Giorgi Chakvetadze may miss out to accommodate him.
Emmanuel Dennis may remain on the substitutes’ bench, while Jeremy Ngakia, Edo Kayembe, and Ken Sema will be unavailable due to injury.
Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Valentin, Ihiekwe, Bernard, Johnson;
Windass, Bannan, Gassama;
Watford possible starting lineup:
Andrews, Porteous, Hoedt, Morris;
Asprilla, Dele-Bashiru, Kone, Chakvetadze;
Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Watford
Despite the difference in league positions, this is expected to be a closely contested match, with Sheffield Wednesday having an extra two days of rest. With that in mind, we predict that the home side will win by a scoreline of 2-1, potentially with a late goal.