Owls look to get promotion push back on track

Sheffield Wednesday travel to Preston on Saturday as they look to bounce back having dropped out of the top two places in League One. Two injury time goals conceded at Walsall on Boxing Day saw the Owls slip to a 2-1 defeat and that came on the back of a 4-4 draw in the previous game at home to Huddersfield when they also conceded in stoppage time.

With the likes of Charlton, Sheffield United, Huddersfield and MK Dons all going well, Wednesday need to return to winning ways sooner rather than later.

Gary Megson is likely to be without goalkeeper Nicky Weaver and striker Gary Madine as the pair are not yet ready for a return following lengthy injury lay offs. Lewis Buxton is thought to be closer to a return to action but may not be risked just yet with Newcastle loan defender James Tavernier continuing to deputise.

Skipper Rob Jones is suffering with a back problem with Miguel Llera set to replace him if he doesn’t prove his fitness.

Preston have been dealt a blow with the news that top scorer Neil Mellor could be sidelined for up to 3 months due to a knee injury. Mellor hit 20 goals for the Owls when on loan at Hillsborough last season and will be a major loss for North End.

Fellow striker James Proctor has missed the last 3 matches but could be set for a return to the side.

North End recently parted company with manager Phil Brown and in their two games since then they have picked up 4 points are the leadership of caretakers Graham Alexander and David Unsworth.

Preston’s home form this season has been inconsistent with 4 wins and 4 defeats from their 11 league games at Deepdale. Despite this they are only 4 points behind the play-off places.

Wednesday’s defeat at Walsall was their first setback in 9 games. The Owls away record is very similar to Preston’s home form as Megson’s men have enjoyed 5 wins and have suffered 5 defeats from 12 matches on their travels.

The 2 sides last met at Deepdale in March last year when Wednesday came from 2 goals down to claim a point in a 2-2 draw. In 49 visits to Preston the Owls have only won on 10 occasions, losing 25 times and they have not enjoyed a victory in any of their last 8 visits.