Sheffield Wednesday will come into this clash full of confidence after their dominant 3-0 display against Queens Park Rangers at the weekend. Meanwhile, Danny Cowley’s Huddersfield Town come into this one smarting from their 2-0 loss to relegation rivals Luton Town.
Wednesday’s victory at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium meant they are now mathematically safe from relegation, disregarding a possible points deduction that the EFL continues to dwell over with little progress.
Huddersfield meanwhile, are desperate to get points on the board to avoid back to back relegations. Currently, they sit on 47 points, two clear of Hull City who occupy the third relegation place.
The Owls will be hoping to be more assured defensively after conceding three goals in their last two fixtures at Hillsborough against West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End. While doing so they also need to be more clinical in front of goal on home soil. They have scored just 18 goals at Hillsborough this season, the lowest in The Championship.
The visitors will be the underdogs in this one having won just five games away from home, their last win on the road being an emphatic 3-0 victory over Birmingham City.
A victory for the hosts would go some way to settling the nerves as to how much of an impact a points deduction could have. The win would mean even more for Town in their bid to stay in the division.
Head to Head
The last time this pair met was back in September at The John Smith’s Stadium. For Garry Monk and Danny Cowley it was the first time they took charge of their respective sides and it was Monk who got off to a good start in the hot seat.
His side dominated the contest from start to finish and headed goals from Steven Fletcher and Sam Winnall helped Wednesday to a 2-0 win.
The previous tie between The Owls and The Terriers was of course in the play-off semi-final second leg where Huddersfield booked their place at Wembley on penalties before clinching their place in the top-flight against Reading.
Huddersfield however have failed to win at Hillsborough in normal time in their last 10 attempts. Their last success in S6 was a 2-1 win in 2013 when Martin Paterson and Adam Clayton scored for Town. Connor Wickham, in his second loan spell, got the consolation goal for Wednesday that day.
Garry Monk will be hoping to have Connor Wickham and Kieran Lee back at his disposal. Wickham has two goals since the restart before he was rested against Preston and Queens Park Rangers.
Liam Palmer could also return to the squad after being given a break over the weekend.
Elsewhere, Monk has no other injury worries after the returns of Tom Lees and Josh Windass.
Danny Cowley meanwhile has no fresh injury concerns, Tommy Elphick remains side-lined due to a long-term knee injury.
Josh Windass will be looking to build on his good performance and goal in West London with another fine display in this one. Windass has scored three goals in six appearances in during his loan spell which has caused many Wednesdayites to call for Monk to sign him permanently in preparation for next season.
The son of former Hull City star Dean Windass will be pitting himself against Huddersfield’s Christopher Schindler who will have to pay full attention to the pace of Windass running off his shoulder and feeding off the creativity of midfield maestro Barry Bannan.
View from the training ground
Garry Monk was full of praise for Lees and Windass after their return from injury:
”I thought Tom and Josh were excellent. They came in, a bit needs must because they had done minimal amount of training on Friday and then back into the game.
“Tom led that line really well at the back, Josh at the front and it’s not easy to do that but they typified us.”
Danny Cowley told the media during his online press conference:
“We were hurt after Friday. I’ve watched their behaviours over the last 48 hours, and I know they’re a group that care deeply and want to perform.
“Ultimately, it’s about actions now. It’s about us putting our care and the frustrations and the disappointment of the performance on Friday to fuel us and to drive us.”
SWFC: D W L L L W
HTFC: L L W D D L