Owls back in action at last

Last updated : 02 January 2011 By C. Morris

Sheffield Wednesday’s enforced winter break finally comes to an end on Bank Holiday Monday when they travel to Huddersfield for a 12.15 kick-off in front of the SKY TV cameras. The Owls have been out of action since December 18th due to a combination of frozen pitches and faulty pipes but they remain in the play-off places within touching distance of the automatic promotion sports in League One.

Alan Irvine will have close to a full squad to choose from for the trip. Neil Mellor will have had time to work on his fitness following injury and may well be in contention for a starting place and right-back Jon Otsemobor is available again following a prolonged lay off with a calf injury. Midfielder Giles Coke, who recently underwent knee surgery and defender Lewis Buxton who has a hamstring problem are the only senior players ruled out of contention.

Huddersfield are likely to include new loan signing Kevin Kilbane in their midfield following his move from Hull City. The Terriers have been hit by a flu bug recently and this kept Lee Croft, Joe Garner and Jamie McCombe out of the squad at the weekend. It remains to be seen if they will recover in time to come in to contention to play a part in the Yorkshire derby. Top scorer Jordan Rhodes was left on the bench for the 2-2 at Carlisle but could well return to the starting line-up.

Having not played for over two weeks, Wednesday’s last result was a humiliating 5-1 defeat at Exeter. The Owls have lost 3 of their last 4 in all competitions but won 6 in a row prior to that. Huddersfield have struggled for form over the festive period. Their 2-2 draw at Carlisle on Saturday came on the back of two defeats in the league though they did win their previous 4 matches before this.

Wednesday were beaten 2-0 on home soil by Huddersfield earlier in the season and they don’t have a great away record in matches against the West Yorkshire side. The Owls lost 1-0 at Town on their last visit in 2005 and have only won 4 of 21 matches away to the Terriers.