Sheffield Wednesday could potentially end what has been a tumultuous season in the Championship to date on a positive note tomorrow by achieving a miraculous survival at Pride Park in their clash with Derby County.
In a year which has seen the Owls sack two managers and suffer a points deduction as a result of financial mismanagement by owner Dejphon Chansiri, it is somewhat a shock that they are still in a position to retain their second-tier status.
However, whilst Wednesday’s form in recent weeks hasn’t been spectacular, they have managed to chip away at Derby’s advantage and are now within striking distance of Wayne Rooney’s side.
Although the Owls will need to rely on Cardiff City to deny Rotherham United all three points in their clash, a victory over the Rams could result in the club avoiding relegation to League One.
Whereas Tom Lees is set to miss out due to an ankle injury, the likes of Barry Bannan and Josh Windass will be looking to make a difference for Wednesday in this weekend’s showdown.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the fixture, pundit David Prutton has revealed that he believes Wednesday will beat Derby and avoid the drop on Saturday.
The former Owls midfielder said: “In Derby and Sheffield Wednesday you have two teams down there who absolutely should not be.
“Even with the points deduction Wednesday have had, they have the squad there to be nowhere near the bottom of the division.
“It’s poor performances that have put them both in this position, and personnel at the clubs who have fallen woefully short.
“For Derby it is in their hands, for Wednesday there are no second chances.”
Prutton later added: “I have a feeling that Wednesday could well edge it, and be the side celebrating [avoiding relegation] at full-time.”
GIVEMESPORT’s Joshua Cole says…
In what is set to be a nervy encounter between two sides who have struggled considerably in the Championship this season, it will be intriguing to see how the Owls approach this fixture.
Considering that Derby have lost six matches in a row, they may end up crumbling under pressure if Wednesday decide to take the game to them in the early stages.
Owls attacking midfielder Windass could potentially provide the creativity that his side will need at Pride Park as he has been directly involved in 15 league goals during the current campaign.
Whilst Wednesday’s away woes in the second-tier has seen them lose 16 of their 22 games to date, there is no reason why they cannot secure a season-defining three points on Saturday if they perform at their very best.