Sheffield Wednesday ready to use inside knowledge in Aston Villa test
If one thing is certain, Saturday’s Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa will be the first of seven cup finals for the Owls.
It’s also destined to be a fixture with extra bite given Steve Bruce’s move from Villa Park chief to Hillsborough boss this season.
September’s 2-1 Wednesday win seems a long time ago now – before cabbage throwing at Villa and managerial sackings at both clubs.
But with more than pride on the line, Bruce’s familiarity with play-off rivals Villa could work to Wednesday’s advantage according to midfielder Joey Pelupessy.
In a recent press conference, Pelupessy opened up to budding journalists from Sheffield Hallam University about Wednesday's season, the state of Dutch football, VAR in the Championship and his career goals.
Speaking on the advantages of his boss’s inside knowledge, the Dutchman said: "It could help. He was there not a lot time ago. He knows the players and their situation. He maybe knows how they play.
"But they have a new manager and I'm sure they have changed a few things. They have a different way of playing now.
"But he knows the players so it can help us. We have more information. Anything that can help us is good for us.
"It is going to be a good test.
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"We beat them at their place but they are an aggressive team and are doing well. They are a good team.
“They have a lot of good players and are a team in form. It is not an easy game but we are playing at home and we are in good form as well.”
Saturday’s match will be the first of four remaining games against teams in the top six – only Wednesday’s clash with QPR on the final day of the season will see them face opposition currently below them in the table.
And Pelupessy insists a target of seven points from the next three matches, against Villa, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, in an eight day period is the minimum requirement if Wednesday are to keep their dream alive.
"The next week is going to be really important,” he said. “If we can get some good results, then we can give ourselves a really good chance.
"If we pick up lower than six or seven points, you then have to look to the table and the others. But if we want to give ourselves a chance, I think we need seven points.
"If we are talking about play-offs, I think we have to get seven points. Six wouldn't be bad from three games but seven would give us a good chance.”