MATCH PREVIEW:Brighton & Hove Albion -v- Wednesday

Wednesday head to the AMex with a two goal advantage, can they finish the job and head to Wembley?

There’ll be a sell out allocation of Wednesday fans on the South Coast, can they cheer the Owls to the playoff final?

Last game Opposition Result Shots On target Corners Cards Fouls Possession
WEDNESDAY Brighton (H) W 2-0 16 4 5 3 10 63%
BRIGHTON Wednesday (A) L 2-0 7 1 4 2 10 37%

Wednesday saved some of their best football of the season for one of the biggest occasions as they outplayed Brighton for the majority of the game, perhaps the Owls will be disappointed at not going to Brighton with a larger advantage such was their control of the game.

Brighton rarely threatened with a blocked shot by Baldock and Hemed hitting the post their best efforts. Losing four players to injury did little to help their cause and when Knockaert went off early in the second half, the Seagulls finished the game with ten men.

Last five games Brighton(h) Wolves(a) Cardiff(h) Derby(a) MK Dons(h)
WEDNESDAY W 2-0 L 2-1 W 3-0 D 1-1 D 0-0
Last five games Wednesday(a) Middlesbrough(a) Derby(h) Charlton(a) QPR(h)
BRIGHTON L 2-0 D 1-1 D 1-1 W 3-1 W 4-0

Wednesday rested a lot of personnel against Wolves and their freshness showed, the Owls stuttered into the playoffs like they did in 2005 but all that has gone before counts for nothing now in the playoffs. They did make it three games without conceding at Hillsborough on Friday night

Brighton finished 15 points above Wednesday but suffered final day heartbreak missing out on automatic promotion, their loss on Friday night was their first since mid February and it was also the first time they failed to score since the 8th March, their opponents that day were none other than Sheffield Wednesday.

HEAD 2 HEAD WEDNESDAY WINS BRIGHTON WINS DRAWS
14 13 5

LAST MEETING: 13th May 2016, Hillsborough, Att – 34,260

Wednesday 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

(R.Wallace 45,K.Lee 73)

Wednesday secured what could be a crucial two goal advantage in the first leg at S6.

The two fixtures in the league season both ended goalless with Wednesday’s last visit to the AMex prior to that being a 1-0 win on the opening day of the 2014/15 season – Giles Coke scored a stunner that day.

Wednesday are unbeaten in eight against Albion and haven’t conceded in the last six meetings, everything goes out of the window in the playoffs though.

CARVALHAL’S COHORTS

I don’t believe going defensive is in Carlos Carvalhal’s nature and with Brighton set to throw the kitchen sink at us, he could bring Sam Hutchinson into the fray for the first time since March.

Brighton have Lewis Dunk ready to return after suspension, Dale Stephens misses out. Anthony Knockaert, Conor Goldson, Steve Sidwell and Tamer Hemed all went off on Friday and Chris Hughton wasn’t sure if any would be ready for tonight.

WESTWOOD

HUNT

HUNT

LOOVENS

LOOVENS

LEES

LEES

PUDIL

PUDIL

WALLACE

WALLACE

LOPEZ

LOPEZ

LEE

LEE

BANNAN

BANNAN

FORESTIERI

FORESTIERI

HOOPER

HOOPER

KEY PLAYERS

Kieran Lee is often said to be underrated and under appreciated, a notion that is quite frankly nonsense, signed from Oldham in the summer of 2012 by Dave Jones, the right back was converted into a midfielder and this year under Carvalhal his progress has been outstanding, adding goals to his repetoire and being able support to Bannan and Forestieri, if he can master the golden touch tonight, the Owls could see themselves at Wembley.

Sam Baldock has proved he can be a handful at times and with Zamora and Hemed’s status for this game uncertain, he could well be the figurehead of the Brighton attack, Lees and Loovens have generally done a fine job this season, if they can keep Baldock quiet for 90 minutes, the dream could go on.

THE BETTING BOX: 5 OF THE BEST

BET Wednesday WIN Brighton WIN DRAW Lee 1st Goal Correct Score 1-1
BEST ODDS 12/5 17/12 12/5 18/1 6/1
BOOKIES BetVictor-logo


HERE COMES D-JUDGE

We’re two goals to the good but the Owls have 90 minutes ahead of them and if we play with the mentality that we’re two goals ahead we’ll get punished for it.

Brighton may be missing a few players but they finished with 89 points for a reason, they’ve got a fair bit about them and even if they didn’t show it Friday night, it would be foolish to assume there won’t be a backlash or a response from that performance at Hillsborough.

Carlos will set up the team to be positive and we have the pace to stretch Brighton out if they press too much and leave gaps at the back, we have to close it out but the pressure is really on the home side to go out and throw everything at Wednesday, one slip up and one goal to the Owls makes that job much more difficult.

There’ll be the odd nervous moment but we’ve come so far this season and if we can hold off the best Brighton can throw at us and not do an absolute Bladejob we should be extending our season after tonight.

VERDICT:Tension abound but the Owls go to Wembley after a 1-1 draw

Danny
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @StirchleyOwl


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