A MERRY Christmas to all sports fans from The Star.
Here is today’s npower Championship statistics relating to Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday’s Boxing day matches.
Barnsley (22) v Birmingham (19)
Barnsley are set to be without defender Martin Cranie, who hobbled off after 20 minutes of Saturday’s crucial 2-1 success at Millwall with an ankle injury. His replacement at the Den, Scott Wiseman, will retain the centre-back berth alongside Stephen Foster. Leading scorer Craig Davies is unlikely to be fit while on-loan Hungary international Akos Buzsaky is out with a hamstring strain. Reuben Noble-Lazarus (ankle) Emile Sinclair (dead leg) are also expected to miss out.
Left-back Paul Robinson is set to return to the Birmingham side after overcoming a sickness bug but top scorer Marlon King will miss the festive period with a knee problem and Paul Caddis (hamstring) and Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) are sidelined. A lengthy injury list also features Peter Lovenkrands (calf), Jonathan Spector (ankle), Darren Ambrose, David Murphy, Stephen Carr (all knee) and Akwasi Asante (hamstring).
Last season: Barnsley 1 Birmingham 3, Birmingham 1 Barnsley 1
Last five league matches: Barnsley D L D L W; Birmingham D W L D D
Top scorers: Craig Davies (Barnsley) 9; Marlon King (Birmingham) 13
Match odds: H 8-5 A 9-5 D 21-10
Referee: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire).
Bolton (16) v Sheff Wed (21)
Bolton will be without suspended captain Kevin Davies. David Ngog is favourite to replace him if he can shake off a hamstring problem, with Benik Afobe and Marvin Sordell standing by. Marcos Alonso is favourite to come in at left-back after Stephen Warnock’s loan spell ended. Defender Matt Mills (thigh) and midfielder Mark Davies (shoulder) remain on the sidelines alongside knee injury victims Stuart Holden, David Wheater and Josh Vela.
Sheffield Wednesday can call upon Jeremy Helan after the young Frenchman’s loan deal from Manchester City was extended by another month. Veteran midfielder David Prutton is doubtful but striker Jay Bothroyd may return from an ankle problem.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Bolton W L D W L; Sheff Wed L L L W W
Top scorers: Chris Eagles (Bolton) 7; Chris O’Grady (Sheff Wed) 6
Match odds: H 4-5 A 4-1 D 11-5
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire).