Sheffield Wednesday fan column: The plot points that Steve Bruce can author in storied Aston Villa clash
There’s no doubt this weekend’s game is going to be focussed around Steve Bruce and his comeback story.
The framing of Aston Villa as baddies and Sheffield Wednesday taking in a man who had been unjustly maligned, it’ll be something along those lines anyway.
It might be hyperbole but if it gives The Owls’ an extra incentive to win then I’m all for it. Can we class this as a marginal gain?
Bruce will also know the Villa team more than anyone. Maybe Marcelo Bielsa has in-depth spreadsheet on them but it doesn’t account for knowing the mindset of their dressing room.
Steve Bruce does and he’s going to be very motivated.
I think the next story will be about what team Bruce plays on Saturday and on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest.
Fernando Forestieiri and Gary Hooper starting against Stoke City last weekend shocked most Wednesday fans. I don’t think we expected Forestieiri to be included due to the court case hanging over him. Hooper we definitely didn’t expect to start after 15 months out.
It was a brave decision by Bruce to start them both in a traditional 4-4-2 formation. Had Steven Fletcher been fit I imagine a different decision would have been taken.
Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
Fletcher and Matias started the match away at Villa Park and both were on the scoresheet in that win.
Despite their lengthy absences, Hooper and Forestieri showed some signs of being the players they were before injuries and off-the-pitch issues but we have to admit that we lacked that bite upfront against Stoke.
If we really do have aspirations of the P word then against a defence like Stoke’s Nuhiu might have been a better option on the day with Hooper on as a sub. I can’t believe I’m saying that but there we go.
We assume that Fletcher won’t play due to his groin injury so with an extra week of training under their belts it will probably be Forestieri and Hooper again.
Against a Villa team known for its attacking style and passing game, our front two may have more opportunities than against the defensive wall of Stoke City.
It would be good to see either of them on the scoresheet again; another good story.