PREVIEW: Wednesday -v- Brentford

PREVIEW: Wednesday -v- Brentford

Wednesday are quietly going about their February business.

And that, for anyone of the blue and white persuasion, is just lovely.

The Owls have attracted next-to-no attention to their four match winning run.

Only Huddersfield and Cardiff have taken more points from the last thirty on offer.

Wednesday currently sail the division’s tightest defensive ship.

Tonight’s visitors sit five points and one game ahead of the relegation zone, but their poor run of two wins in the last ten threatens to throw them closer to the mire.

Brentford have conceded ten goals in their last three games.

Welcome, then, to a Tuesday night nil-niller.

 

 

Last game Opposition Result Shots On target Corners Cards Fouls Possession
WEDNESDAY Forest (A) W 2-1 10 5 4 4 15 43%
BRENTFORD Reading (A) L 2-3 23 6 9 3 11 54%

 

Wednesday took the points at Forest thanks to some brilliant individual performances. Kieren Westwood conceded another penalty, felling Ben Brereton. The Irishman redeemed himself by getting low to stop Ross McCormack’s spot-kick.

Almen Abdi struck a quite sensational first Owls goal, lashing home a volley from 25 yards midway through the first half.

Wednesday moved two goals clear after restart. Fernando Forestieri brought the ball under his spell in the penalty area, juggled it past his marker and smacked it into the top corner.

Vincent Sasso unfortunately reverted to type, allowing Forest a way back into the game: his mistake led to Osborn tucking home to create a nervy last ten minutes.

Wallace, Fletcher and Winnall all came on for Wednesday, whose strength in depth from the bench has markedly improved from last term.

Things are going well…

At the start of February I demanded in this feature that Wednesday make a positive run before the Leeds game.

The Owls’ winning run has been kindly supported by our promotion rivals choosing the same month to crumble.

Brentford are on a poor run but that doesn’t make this a straightforward fixture. They actually led 2-1 at Reading before falling to a late defeat, and possess a number of tricky, talented footballers.

Former Barcelona and Liverpool youngster Sergi Canós and talented midfielder Jota support Lasse Vibe. Danish international defender Andreas Bjelland marshals the back line.

For all their goals conceded, The Bees have also scored an average of two goals a game in their last seven.

This is not a home banker.

 

 

LAST 5 Forest (A) Blackburn (H) Birmingham (H) Wigan (A) Bristol C. (A)
WEDNESDAY W 2-1 W 2-1 W 3-0 W 1-0 D 2-2

 

Reading (A) PNE (A) Brighton (H) Villa (H) Wigan (A)
BRENTFORD L 2-3 L 2-4 D 3-3 W 3-0 L 1-2

 

 

Hillsborough is a safe haven for Owls at the minute

Brentford will take comfort from their scoring run, but tonight they come up against the league’s most in-form back-line.

With only seven goals conceded in ten games, might Tom Lees have to wait to regain his spot?

Wednesday have won eleven of their fifteen games at Hillsborough and have conceded just four goals at home since October 1st.

Brentford have lost four of their five games away to top eight sides but will be encouraged by taking the lead at Reading last Tuesday.

They will also benefit from a full week of rest, having enjoyed a Saturday off.

 

 

HEAD 2 HEAD WEDNESDAY WINS BRENTFORD WINS DRAWS
  13 13 9

LAST MEETING

27 August 2016, Griffin Park, Att: 9, 677

Brentford 1-1 Wednesday

(Vibe 54′ // Hutchinson 90′)

Wednesday could and really should have won this game by a comfortable margin. Lucas Joao memorably missed from all of nine inches, Daniel Pudil spooned over and Fletcher was twice denied on the line. All of this happened in the first half.

Kieren Westwood gifted Brentford a lead in the second period, Lasse Vibe closing down his attempted clearance.

David Jones was sent off for a second bookable offence, and Vibe followed him down the tunnel to leave it at ten a side.

Hutchinson rescues a point

Loovens, Lees, Fletcher and Nuhiu all had half chances before Sam Hutchinson guided a last-minute diving header past Brentford ‘keeper Bentley.

The points were shared in a game that Wednesday threw away as Carvalhal’s side struggled to find momentum after the Forestieri saga.

This fixture has been kind to Wednesday in recent years.

After Brentford completed a league double on The Owls’ return to the third tier, Wednesday are since unbeaten against the Londoners, with four wins and three draws.

 

 

CARVALHAL’S COHORTS

 

Morgan Fox remains sidelined, while Gary Hooper played on Monday for the Development Squad.

Carvalhal was coy on Tom Lees’ return date; the bench looks like being his berth if he is indeed fit.

Perhaps a little rotation ahead of the Leeds game will be the Head Coach’s plan of action.

Jack Hunt has enjoyed a solid run at right back, but that will not stop the boss from parachuting Liam Palmer in.

Sam Hutchinson has picked up knocks against Blackburn and Forest, so could do with being rested ahead of his 49th minute red card against Leeds on Saturday.

Brentford have mostly played a variant of five in midfield this season, with Scott Hogan and now Lasse Vibe playing the lone forward role.

At Reading, Jota and Canós helped form a three-pronged attack which both created a number of chances (23 shots, six on target) and left the Bees’ back four exposed.

WestwoodPreview

WESTWOOD

PALMER

SASSO

LOOVENS

PUDIL

WALLACE

BANNAN

ABDI

REACH

REACH

RHODES

FORESTIERI

 

 

KEY PLAYERS

 

KIEREN WESTWOOD – He’s not the obvious choice for a key player in what looks like a routine home game against a mid-table side.

However, Brentford have some agile, quick, tricky forward players who should fancy their chances against Wednesday’s slightly older, more cumbersome back line. They have an extra few days freshness in their legs, too.

If the Owls are to take three points from this one, Westwood will likely have to perform saves like the double save that denied Blackburn a week ago.

Brentford are particularly prone to counter-attacks, a weakness that Westwood will be aware of when launching long balls from his hands.

 

LASSE VIBE – Scored three in four league games since becoming the undisputed first choice forward after Hogan’s departure.

Four of his six Championship goals have come in the New Year, along with a couple of assists.

Wednesday will look to isolate him from Canos and Jota, and force Brentford to play long balls into the Dane.

 

 

THE BETTING BOX: 5 OF THE BEST

 

BET Wednesday WIN Brentford WIN DRAW Abdi anytime  Wednesday 3-2
BEST ODDS 10/11 69/20 11/4 4/1 27/1
BOOKIES

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HUGH’S VERDICT:

With many already casting one eye on the weekend fixture with Leeds, it would be easy to assume that Wednesday will turn up to this one and expect three points.

Carvalhal doesn’t work like that.

With Reading and Huddersfield playing each other tonight, Wednesday have another chance to tighten the group at the top and move away from the chasing pack.

Wednesday to come from behind and win after a nervy start.

VERDICT: Wednesday 2-1 Brentford

Hugh
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: owlsalive@gmail.com
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg

Images: SWFC, unless stated.


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