Sheffield Wednesday welcome Stoke City to Hillsborough this afternoon for the first time in a league match since March 2008. Here’s all you need to know about today’s clash.
What’s the team news
Sheffield Wednesday will be without forward Fernando Forestieri, who was handed a three-match ban for his part in a brawl in a pre-season game against Mansfield. Striker Gary Hooper also misses out despite making his long-awaited return from a hip injury in an Under-23s game on Monday. Fellow long-term absentee Kieran Lee aggravated a knee injury on his return in that game.
Stoke are without James McClean after he broke his arm during training with the Republic of Ireland.
The Potters will be able to call on winger Tom Ince following his recovery from a hamstring injury, but Sam Clucas remains sidelined. Midfielder Ryan Woods could make his full debut after coming off the bench in the second half of the 2-1 defeat to West Brom before the international break.
What are our predicted teams?
OWLS (4-3-3): Cameron Dawson; Liam Palmer, Tom Lees, Jordan Thorniley, Matt Penney, Barry Bannan, Joey Pelupessy, Adam Reach, Marco Matias, Lucas Joao, Atdhe Nuhiu
STOKE (4-4-2): Jack Butland; Cuco Martina, Ryan Shawcross, Ashley Williams, Erik Pieters, Mame Biram Diouf, Joe Allen, Oghenekaro Etebo, Bojan Krkic, Saido Berahino. Benik Afobe
Who is the Referee?
GEOFF ELTRINGHAM – The County Durham-based whistler has brandished 24 yellow cards in six matches this season. Tomorrow’s clash will be the first time Eltringham, who is a Sunderland supporter, has taken charge of an Owls fixture since last November. He dished out one booking in Wednesday’s outstanding 2-1 triumph at Aston Villa.
What are the odds?
Wednesday 19-10 , Stoke 11-8, Draw 12-5
How the form?
Owls: D L W W W
Stoke: D D L W L
You have to go back over a decade for the last time the two clubs played each other in the league. It finished one apiece, with the Owls’ Frank Songo’o cancelling out Richard Creswell’s first half opener.
In the most recent meeting, Stoke claimed a 2-0 victory to book a place in the League Cup semi-finals. Forward Ibrahim Afellay volleyed the Potters in front and Phil Bardsley added a second. Daniel Pudil came closest to scoring for the Owls.
Who should Wednesday be keeping an eye on?
BENIK AFOBE – The one-time Owls loanee has bagged two goals in six Championship appearances since moving to Stoke. The striker is on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers but will complete a permanent transfer for around £12m in January. Afobe scored seven times in 17 appearances for Wolves last term as they clinched the title.