Sheffield Wednesday head to Aston Villa in the Championship looking for a response after the 2-1 midweek defeat at Nottingham Forest. Here’s all you need to know about today’s Championship clash between seventh-placed Villa and the Owls in 13th.
Sheffield Wednesday will be without young centre-half Jordan Thorniley who limped out of the Forest contest with a calf injury. The good news is that the problem isn't serious and he should be back in a week. His likely replacement is loan signing Michael Hector who is standing by for his first Owls start, The match comes too soon for midfielder Sam Hutchinson who is due to return to full training on Monday after a groin issue, while attacker Fernando Forestieri serves the final game of a three-match suspension. Midfielder/centre-half Mile Jedinak and defender Axel Tuanzebe are vying for recalls to the Villa side. Scott Hogan (groin) is back in training but he is not expected to feature against the Owls, while fellow striker Keinan Davis is still recovering from the groin problem he sustained in pre-season. This afternoon’s match is Steve Bruce’s 100th in charge of Villa.
OWLS (4-2-3-1): Cameron Dawson; Liam Palmer, Tom Lees, Michael Hector, Matt Penney; Barry Bannan, Joey Pelupessy; Marco Matias, Josh Onomah, Adam Reach; Steven Fletcher.
VILLA (4-4-2): Orjan Nyland; Ahmed Elmohamady, James Chester, Mile Jedinak, Alan Hutton; Anwar El Ghazi, John McGinn, Conor Hourihane, Jack Grealish; Jonathan Kodjia, Tammy Abraham.
Wednesday were 2-1 winners on their last visit to Villa Park, on November 4. They delivered a superb performance and took a first-minute lead through a spectacular long-range strike from Adam Reach. Jordan Rhodes doubled the Owls' lead when he finished off a good move. Villa pulled back a goal late on through Christopher Samba late on, but they were second best to Wednesday who thoroughly deserved their victory. Villa gained their revenge at Hillsborough, winning 4-2 on February 24 during a run of five successive Owls defeats. Sean Clare and Lucas Joao scored for Jos Luhukay's side who led 2-1 at the break, but late goals from Conor Hourihane and Robert Snodgrass (penalty) did the damage for the visitors after earlier efforts from Lewis Grabban and Glenn Whelan.
Villa DDLDW, Owls WWWDL.
Villa win 3/5, draw 29/10, Owls win 5/1.
One to watch:
JONATHAN KODJIA. Injury kept the Ivory Coast international out for much of last season as Villa reach the play-off final but the 28-year-old striker is making his mark this term. The £11 million signing, who arrived at Villa Park from Bristol City in 2016, is a big, strong, physical player. He has scored three goals in nine matches and is a real handful when he's on form. Kodjia and strike partner Tammy Abraham gave Rotherham United's defence all kinds of problems in Villa's 2-0 midweek triumph over the Millers.
DAVID WEBB. The Lancashire-based official has taken charge of seven matches this season, issuing 18 cautions and no red cards. Today's fixture will be the second time Webb has officiated in a match involving the Owls in the 2018/19 campaign. He was the referee when Wednesday lost 2-0 at Brentford on August 19.