Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 3

Sheffield Wednesday

Carlos Carvalhal insists Sheffield Wednesday should make no apologies for their ultra-cautious play-off first-leg approach at Huddersfield. The Owls' risk-averse tactics helped them record a 0-0 draw in a dour stalemate on Sunday, during which the visitors failed to muster a single shot on-target.

Fernando Forestieri was a peripheral figure on his return to the starting XI but their solid, if uninspiring, performance did allow Wednesday's hosts to record a 17th clean sheet of the campaign as goalkeeper Keiren Westwoodproduced two vital second-half saves to keep the game scoreless.

The Owls now enjoy home advantage with 32,000 supporters expected to flock to S6 to cheer on the side. And Carvalhal should allow his team greater flexibility and attacking impetus at Hillsborough as they bid to reach theplay-off final for the second successive season.

Sam Hutchinson is expected to be fit having missed the first leg with stiffness in his knee and Carvalhal will giveGary Hooper until the last minute to see if the striker can recover from his hamstring injury. Almen Abdi remains absent.


Huddersfield enjoyed the better of proceedings at the John Smith's Stadium on Sunday, bossing 69% of the possession and winning the shot count 12-3. But opportunities were at a premium with Izzy Brown clipping the bar the closest that either side came to a breakthrough.

Congolese international Elias Kachunga enjoyed an exceptional first-half and caused problems for the Owls all over the pitch before fading whilst Aaron Mooy's control in midfield ensured the Terriers were rarely threatened by their pragmatic guests.

Huddersfield are aiming to reach the top-flight of English football for the first time since 1972 and Wagner has drawn inspiration of Town's historic triumphs by filling the training ground walls with previous glories.

The Town boss expects first-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward to return from suspension despite missing training with illness and full-back Chris Lowe should shake-off muscle tightness to take his place in the team. Midfielders Philip Billing and Kasey Palmer remain unavailable.

Match Odds

Just over 18 months ago David Wagner took charge ofHuddersfield for the first time in a disappointing 3-1 away defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. That match featured one of only two goals the Terriers have managed against the Owls in eight attempts (W0-D3-L5) dating back to 2014.

Contrary to popular belief, Town haven't struggled profusely when playing two league games in fewer than six days this season (W15-D5-L6) but their performance data away to top-half teams is of concern (W4-D1-L6).

Huddersfield managed an excepted goals ratio of 37.83% at the top-12 with none of their shots, shots on-target nor shots in the box ratios creeping over the 43.50% mark in the same sample of matches and opponents. 

The visitors limped over the line, bagging just five victories in 16 across all competitions and losing six of their last 11 (W3-D2-L6) and are rated understandable outsiders at 3.90 to pocket a 90-minute success here.

Wednesday were a haphazard W6-D0-L5 when entertaining top-half teams but the Owls dominated the bulk of those encounters, returning a very strong 59.42% expected goals ratio plus shot ratios well above the 50% mark.

What's more, the Owls have delivered 10 wins from their last 15 in Sheffield and we should expect their gluttony of attacking options to be given more freedom and opportunity to hurt the Terriers defence here, making the host a solid shout at 2.24 to triumph.

Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Over 2.5 Goals has been chalked up as the 2.42 market outsider but with 52% of Championship play-off semi-final second legs beating the two-goal line since 1992/93 and with 13/23 (57%) of Hillsborough games following suit, there's value in backing a goal-heavy game.

However, Under 2.5 Goals 1.63 supporters will point to seven of the last eight meetings featuring fewer than three goals and six of Huddersfield's last seven away days also producing no more than two goals. Indeed, only 8/23 (35%) of Town's road trips broke the two-goal barrier.

Recommended Bets

Back Sheffield Wednesday to win @ 2.24

0 nhận xét Blogger 0 Facebook

Post a Comment