Sheffield Wednesday Preview (A) - November 27
WATFORD WILL look to get past the disappointment of their 2-2 draw at Blackpool at the weekend when they face two-wins-in-16 Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
The Owls have faltered badly after a decent enough return to n.Power Championship football and currently sit in 22nd place, losing their previous four games.
It already seems a lifetime ago since Martin Taylor switched the Vic` for Hillsborough on the final day of the Transfer Window. And, whilst it appeared to be an aberration at the time, the 5-1 defeat Derby the following day providing further evidence, the emergence of Tommie Hoban, Fitz Hall and Joel Ekstrand, coupled with Lloyd Doyley`s latest re-invention of himself has meant that 'Tiny` has been scarcely missed.
Taylor, 33, was immediately installed as captain of his new club but has found form hard to come by and has been out of the first-team picture of late.
Although Taylor played during Wednesday`s 2-0 defeat at home to Leicester on Saturday, it was his first appearance in a month.
The theme of experience is one which Owls` boss Dave Jones has adhered to quite strictly following promotion. Powerful targetman Jay Bothroyd was signed on-loan from Queens Park Rangers earlier in the campaign, whilst Stoke City unit Mamady Sidibe joined the club on-loan during Thursday`s loan deadline day.
Bothroyd, 30, had a less than pleasing first season at Loftus Road last term after signing from Cardiff City on a free transfer.
The Islington-born forward bagged just twice in 21 games for the Hoops and with more glamorous names added over the summer, headed out on-loan.
The former Arsenal, Coventry, Perugia, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Wolves forward has just one goal in 13 appearances for Megson`s side but his experience, leadership and hulking presence in leading the line will all prove to be important assets throughout the duration of his loan deal.
Bothroyd also boasts one England cap, won under Fabio Capello in 2010.
Sidibe, 32, is an even more physically-imposing presence, who has once again fought back from serious injury to resume his career.
The 6`4 Mali international has been with Stoke City for seven years now, helping the club to the Premier League and scoring 24 goals in 168 appearances for the Potters along the way.
It has however been four seasons since Sidibe scored a league goal, the forward scoring twice during the 2009/10 season. Indeed, it had been three seasons since Sidibe even played a league match due to injury and the competition for places at the Britannia Stadium.
Midfielder Chris Lines is pushing for a start for Wednesday after returning from injury , whilst Ross Barkley recently returned to Everton following a successful loan spell meaning Rhys McCabe comes into midfield.
Gianfranco Zola is without John Eustace (back), Neuton (ankle), Lloyd Doyley (calf), Nyron Nosworthy (hamstring) and Prince Buaben (thigh). Jonathan Hogg returns from suspension and could come in for Cristian Battocchio.
Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland; Buxton, Gardner, Taylor (c), Helan; Antonio, McCabe, Semedo, Johnson; Sidibe & Bothroyd.
Watford: Almunia (c); Ekstrand, Hall, Hoban; Anya, Chalobah, Hogg, Yeates, Pudil; Vydra & Forestieri.
Referee: Mr T Bates.
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