PREVIEW | Swansea City -v- Wednesday

PREVIEW | Swansea City -v- Wednesday

Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, the Quarter Final draw has put a different complexion on this dreary-looking replay.

Succeed, and Wednesday will be presented with one of two excellent looking ties.

The home draw is confirmed, ensuring either Swansea City or Wednesday will welcome Tottenham Hotspur or Rochdale.

Of course, with a replay at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, Poch’s men are favourites to progress.

Tottenham Hotspur – one of the most attractive sides in the land, their visit would be a memorable occasion.

With a second-place Premier League finish available, and a European Cup quarter final hiding behind Juventus, might they have bigger fish to fry?

Their third tier opponents are marooned at the bottom of the table, albeit holding at least three games in hand over their rivals. This cup run is providing a welcome distraction from a probable return to the fourth tier.

So we have a third tier side for whom the quarter finals *should* be a step too far, or the big-hitters for whom a semi-final date at Wembley would not hold the same allure, it being their home stadium.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Standing in the way of all those possibilities, of course, are Swansea City.

Swansea City Reserves. Against Sheffield Wednesday Reserves.

Freddy Venancio battles with Luciano Narsingh in the first leg (

We’ve seen that the Magic of the Cup is alive and well in recent seasons, taking stories from Bradford, Coventry, Lincoln and Rochdale.

It’s unlikely that the BBC cameras will witness any sorcery in this one.

Sure, a Wednesday win would represent an upset, and bless us with a victory over a former manager, but the fixture will drift out of national conscience before the morning headlines.

It would be irresponsible to think that Wednesday are out of trouble at the bottom end of the Championship; had the club picked up a few more points since the new manager’s arrival, then Jos Luhukay could afford to be more liberal with his selection against the Swans.

Carlos Carvalhal has become a celebrity in his short stay in the Premier League, serving up more intriguing food metaphors for the national press to gorge themselves on.

CC – now baffling brains in the Premier League

His team have undoubtedly responded to their new boss but were played off the park at Brighton on Saturday and, like Wednesday, conceded four goals.

With as many as ten teams threatened by relegation from the Premier League, and Swansea still very much in the bottom three, Carlos will be aware that continuing to pick up points in February and March could make their April and May much easier.

As such, could we see him rest his key men too?

With West Ham due at the Liberty on Saturaday, you’d think so.



Wednesday were impressive in spells against Villa and showed plenty of heart in a losing performance.

Very basic defensive mistakes continue to haunt The Owls, with four avoidable goals conceded to Steve Bruce’s side.

Wednesday’s play, for the most part, was encouraging. Chances were created, we saw two lovely goals and the woodwork struck twice, while some frantic Villa defending kept the home tally down on more than one occasion.

Lucas Joao puts Wednesday 2-1 up

Joey Pelupessy was battling in midfield against much superior opposition, Lucas Joao enjoyed another good performance; Sean Clare’s enterprise and excellent goal demonstrated he has promise at this level.

Promise – he is not ready, as his manager has highlighted – he was partially at fault for at least one Villa goal.

4-2 reflects the entertainment value of the game but not the pattern of play, nor some questionable referring.

Despite it all, I felt there was more to appreciate in aspects of this Wednesday performance.

Many more stuck around after the final whistle to applaud a losing side than we’ve often see celebrate 1-0 wins over the last twelve months.

Swansea suffered a 4-1 defeat at the Amex.

Such is the tight nature of the Premier League’s bottom half – the win propelled Brighton to 12th while a Swansea win would have seen them leapfrog their opponents.

Mercurial Glenn Murray notched twice for Albion, Tammy Abraham netted a deflected consolation once Anthony Knockaert had poked home to send Albion three up.

Carvalhal – wait for it – shouldered some of the blame in his post-match comments, acknowledging his changes came to early and resulted in Albion extending their lead.

This was Swansea’s first defeat in ten games.

A second in eleven would be most welcome.



LAST 5 Villa (H) Millwall (A) Swansea (H) Derby (H) Barnsley (A)
WEDNESDAY L 2-4 L 1-2 D 0-0 W 2-0 D 1-1


LAST 5  Brighton (A) Wednesday (A) Burnley (H) Notts Co. (H) Leicester (A)
SWANSEA L 1-4 D 0-0 D 0-0 W 8-1 D 1-1


  12 5 12





Wednesday 0-0 Swansea

17th February 2018, Hillsborough, Att: 19, 427

Carlos Carvalhal suggested that both managers would have preferred a penalty shootout to a replay after the Hillsborough stalemate.

Chances were at a premium for both sides, Swansea came closest with a first half header from Mike van der Hoorn which was wonderfully tipped over the bar by Cameron Dawson.

Wednesday had one good chance before the break, Adam Reach raced through and forced a save from Kristoffer Nordfelt. Opportunities fell to Reach and Nuhiu in the second half, Nuhiu in particular demonstrating his bemusingly good feet to lose the Swansea defender.

Carvalhal’s introduction of Nathan Dyer, Jordan Ayew and Sam Clucas did little to tip the balance to the away side which ensured we’d head to the Liberty for a replay.




Jos confirmed that Liam Palmer and Almen Abdi will return to the squad this week.

Ross Wallace is seeing a specialist in London to find out if he requires surgery on a knee injury.

Wednesday carry threat with Lucas Joao and Adam Reach on the pitch, will both will start despite a crowded fixture list, and Luhukay’s not-so-subtle hints that this fixture is little more than a throwaway?

Cameron Dawson will return in between the sticks.

It would be lovely to see Sean Clare given another opportunity, but the experience of David Jones and Jacob Butterfield waits in the wings. Both players need minutes, and positive performances.

Jordan Thorniley could return to the bench following his concussion at Millwall.

Freddie Nielsen, Ash Baker, Connor O’Grady and Connor Kirby will also be hoping to make the squad.

Could Hirst Jnr feature on the bench?














DANIEL PUDIL – Our most experienced defender, often a stabilising presence, would put his head in a blender.

He bears little resemblance to the marauding full-back that initially joined on loan from Watford, but he still has several attributes to offer this mismatch of a side.

His recent appearances have been littered with silly fouls (given, in the case of the Snodgrass penalty; not given, the blatant push on Abraham in the first leg). He has to be the leader in that back three and make Wednesday impenetrable if we are to have a hope of progressing.

Wednesday have been really ineffective in defending set-pieces of late, in stark contrast to their constant threat from dead balls at the other end of the pitch.

Pudil has to take charge of his teammates when the ball is to be whipped in to the Wednesday box.

KI SUNG-YEUNG – A soon to be free agent who has already been linked with AC Milan.

Not bad work, if you can get it.

Ki is a lovely player to watch, gliding effortlessly across the pitch and pulling opponents apart with his own positioning and sumptuous range of passing.

Should Swansea go with a similar eleven to the first leg – with Ki and Tom Carroll in the centre of midfield – then Wednesday must look to overpower the home side with their central three.





BET Wednesday WIN Swansea WIN DRAW
1-2 Under 2.5
BEST ODDS 9/2 4/5 12/5 16/1 14/19


HUGH’S VERDICT – The replay will play out in exactly the same way as the first leg.

Changed sides = slow start.

Slow start = few chances.

Few chances = home fans’ frustration?

Let’s hope so. Wednesday’s chances of progressing increase dramatically if we can keep Swansea frustrated during the first half.

One thing is for certain, Carlos will be watchful of his opponents. This we know from experience.

If you’re watching on TV, maybe Alan Titchmarsh’s Secrets of the National Trust will be more compelling until 9pm.

Let’s keep in mind the potential prize: either the most straightforward quarter final draw or the biggest cup fixture at Hillsborough in years.

The game might struggle to keep you awake, until the prize moves into full view.

Expect late fireworks if any result is still possible.

Owls Alive
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg

Images: SWFC, unless stated. Line up images: Getty.

One Comment

  1. Sean Clare is cuptied so best not to put him in team

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