Owls out to impress as Milan takes to Hillsborough turf

By Chris Morris
Last updated : 10 December 2010

Sheffield Wednesday's incoming Chairman Milan Mandaric will be at Hillsborough for the first time since agreeing a deal to take control of the club and is expected to receive a warm welcome having alleviated the financial woes of what has been described as a sleeping giant of a club.

Alan Irvine and his team will be looking to show their worth in front of the new owner having slipped to back to back defeats in the past two weeks.

Wednesday will be without Lewis Buxton who aggravated his hamstring injury on his return to the side last weekend and now faces a prolonged spell on the sidelines. Fellow right-back Jon Otsemobor is touch and go as to whether he is ready to return from a calf injury that has kept him out over contention for around a month. If he fails to prove his fitness then Tommy Spurr may have to switch sides with Daniel Jones taking the left-back berth.

Top scorer Neil Mellor missed out last Saturday due to an ankle problem and could once again miss out. If that is the case then Irvine could pair Paul Heffernan with Clinton Morrison should he choose to go with two up front though he may choose to favour playing winger Jermaine Johnson in a more advanced role behind Morrison and leave Heffernan on the bench.

Midfielder Giles Coke could be in contention for a return to the starting eleven having had to settle for a place on the bench since returning from a minor injury.

Bristol Rovers make the trip to Sheffield without first-choice right-back Carl Regan who serves the final match of his 3-game ban. Top scorer Will Hoskins has started from the bench in the past two game since returning from injury but the former Rotherham striker may well be fit to start at Hillsborough.

Rovers' midfielder Stuart Campbell sustained a neck injury in training during the week but he is expected to be passed fit to play.

The Owls missed the chance to move up to second place in League One last weekend when the lost 2-1 at Swindon. That defeat came on the back of a 3-1 loss at Carlisle in the Football League Trophy but prior to that Wednesday had won 6 matches in a row in all competitions.

The weather has badly affected Bristol's fixture schedule and they have not played since a 1-1 draw at Charlton on 23rd November. Their previous match saw them pick up a creditable 2-2 draw at league leaders Brighton though they have now gone on a run of 6 games without a win in League One and are currently in 18th place in the division.

The two sides have not met competitively since the Owls old second division promotion season in 1990/91 where Wednesday ran out winners both home and away. The Owls will be looking to extend a record which has never seen them lose at home to Bristol Rovers, in all they have won 5 and drawn 1 against them on home soil.

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