Former Owl Caolan Lavery set to do battle with Dominic Iorfa in Sheffield Wednesday season opener

Sheffield Wednesday’s trip to Walsall tomorrow seems to have arrived in a hurry for the Owls. For the hosts, less so.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 5:00 pm

After the League Two season was curtailed due to the coronavirus crisis, the home side last played a competitive fixture on March 7 – an incredible 181 days ago – and welcome Garry Monk’s new-look Wednesday with a place in the Carabao Cup second round at stake.

Walsall will be looking to spring an upset on the Owls, with a former Wednesday player spearheading their threat.

Caolan Lavery lines up against the club he made his senior debut for for the very first time and will face up against a back three including reigning Hillsborough player of the year Dominic Iorfa.

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Sheffield Wednesday's Dominic Iorfa will be looking to shut out Walsall forward - and former Owl - Caolan Lavery.

“It will be the first time I’ve played against them since I left, so it’s definitely one I’m looking forward to,” Lavery told the Express & Star.

“I had a good time there, broke through into the first team and started my career off there, so it’s something I’m looking forward to. I did the little jump across the city which isn’t fondly remembered by a lot of people in Sheffield.

“But it was good [at Wednesday]. A lot of learning, and a lot of loans, but I grew a lot and it helped me get to where I am.”

Asked about Wednesday’s approach to playing a side that haven’t played in such a long time, Iorfa made it clear they are not taking the tie lightly. Like manager Garry Monk, he said the clash was one they were going all out to win.

“You can also look at it in that they’ve been in pre-season for a longer period of time,” he said.

“I imagine they’ve had some friendlies and it’s a cup game, anything can happen. We have to be switched on with regards to our performance and make sure we get the win.

“Everyone is looking forward to it and there’s no reason why we can’t have a good season this year.

“Last season we were third at Christmas and showed how good we can be, but the second half of the season was really disappointing. We know if we play as well as we can do, we’ll have a good season.

“We have to start the season right, we’re taking it game by game and we’ll pick up as many points as we can. The atmosphere is really good.”

Canadian-born Lavery, who controversially left Wednesday for city rivals Sheffield United in 2015, spoke of getting one over on his former club and talked up his current side’s chances of achieving an upset.

“They’re in the Championship and you expect them to be strong all over the pitch but you expect us also to go out and put on a good show,” he said.

"Go toe-to-toe with them. You can say whatever you want about Championship players but as long as we work as hard as them then you never know what can happen. If we get a positive result it will set us up nicely.”

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