The Owls are two points outside the play-off spots in the division, and could go as high as fifth with a win at the weekend. Gillingham, meanwhile, are just a point above the relegation zone and could dip as low as 22nd if results don’t go their way.
Gillingham meanwhile have been hit hard with injuries throughout the season and will once again do well if they can name a full 18 players in their squad at Hillsborough.
David Tutonda, Daniel Phillips, Oliver Lee and Alex MacDonald are all out with long-term injuries, whilst Stuart O’Keefe, Rhys Bennett, Ryan Jackson and Robbie McKenzie have all limped off in recent weeks. Mustapha Carayol, meanwhile, missed the Gills’ FA Cup first round draw with Cheltenham Town through illness.
This could leave the visitors with as few as 13 fit first team players for the match; a real issue for manager Steve Evans, who could be forced to field some players way off full fitness.
Sheffield Wednesday (potential 3-4-1-2): Wildsmith – Palmer, Dunkley, Johnson – Paterson, Adeniran, Wing, Corbeanu – Bannan – Kamberi, Gregory.
Gillingham (potential 4-3-3): Cumming – Lintott, Ehmer, Tucker, Akehurst – Dempsey, Adshead, Reeves – Lloyd, Oliver, Sithole.
Sheffield Wednesday registered a dominant 4-0 win over League Two side Harrogate Town in their last outing to secure top spot of North Group H in the Papa John’s Trophy. Their last league game, however, was a convincing win against fellow promotion hopefuls Sunderland, with Theo Corbeanu, Florian Kamberi and Lee Gregory all on the scoresheet.
In their last five matches, Wednesday have two wins, three draws and no defeats to their names, and occupy eighth place in League One.
Gillingham go into the game off the back of a 1-1 draw at home, also in the FA Cup, to Cheltenham Town at Priestfield on Saturday. They too drew their last league game – 0-0 with Accrington Stanley – the week before.
Their last victory game on October 19 against Doncaster Rovers, and they have won one, drawn three and lost one of their last five games; the Blues are 19th in the League One table.
Ones to watch
Forward Lee Gregory is the man to watch for Wednesday. The former Millwall man is the Owls’ top goal scorer this season with six league goals, and is the real talisman in Darren Moore’s team. Whether he is paired with Florian Kamberi or Sadio Berahino, Gregory will link up well with his fellow front man, having provided three assists in League One this term.
Youngster Gerald Sithole could be one to keep an eye on for the away side at the weekend. The 18-year-old has burst onto the scene in ME7 since signing his first professional deal in April, often providing the pace an energy Gillingham have been lacking at times in their play. He scored his first goal for the club in the draw against Cheltenham, and will be sky high on confidence heading into Saturday.
The two sides haven’t crossed paths in nearly 19 years, since way back in January 2003, when Gillingham won 4-1 at Priestfield in the third round of the FA Cup to set up a fourth-round tie against Premiership Leeds United.
The last league meeting between the teams was in December 2002, when Gillingham won 2-0 at Hillsborough in the old Division One.
In total, the Gills and the Owls have faced each other 19 times in their histories. Gillingham lead the way in terms of victories with seven to Wednesday’s six, whilst there have also been six draws.
How to watch
The match has not been selected for television coverage in the UK, so the only way to watch the match is to attend the game at Hillsborough Stadium. Alternatively, an audio match pass can be purchased via either side’s iFollow sites for £2.50.
The game is set to kick-off at 15:00 GMT.
Sheffield Wednesday Darren Moore spoke to the media in the week, and said: “Gillingham make it very, very difficult for opponents.
“They have a manager that knows his way around this league. He is a manager that plays really good, effective football.
“It is two teams and two different styles of play. We have got to stand up and be counted and try and implement our style on the game. It will be another really good game.”
Meanwhile, Gillingham manager Steve Evans told the press: “We still have an extensive injury list, but we will focus on the players we do have available.
“We are prepared to take on an outstanding squad at an intimidating ground. They are one of those clubs – their fans get behind the team and it is a game in which players should want to perform at their best. I look forward to Saturday.
“We can be organised, be efficient, and find a way to stay in the match. The pressure is on them and there is a huge expectation from their supporters.”