Friday 29th September 2023
(24th) Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland (5th)
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are sold out.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via Sky Sports and www.safc.com.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
There was an element of déjà vu about last Sunday’s result and performance. It’s something we saw on multiple occasions last year and no doubt we’ll see it again.
The difference between a side like Southampton who arrive at the Stadium of Light on the front foot are quite often punished, but sides like Cardiff City, who come with a game plan, often frustrate to the point where we snap and make a mistake.
Based on our form at the end of things last season, finding that solution to unlock the opposition on home soil in those games could well be key to success this term, and in a strange twist we might start to see some of those potential solutions tonight.
After impressing for the U21’s on Monday, it’s possible we could get more than a cameo from Nazariy Rusyn and Adil Aouchiche in front of the Sky cameras at Hillsborough.
This will all depend on Tony Mowbray’s thinking ahead of kick-off - does he stick with the same XI who have performed well recently, or see this as an opportunity to use his squad and provide minutes to those who have missed out recently and/or the new boys.
The Owls are currently without a win and we haven’t won (in ninety minutes) at Hillsborough in the last four attempts, which takes us back to the heady days of Roy Keane and air guitar world record attempts in 2007 for our last victory.
But there can’t have been many occasions where we’ve been considered such heavy favourites to come away from South Yorkshire with maximum points - and it’s this sort of sh*t that gets me nervous.
It doesn’t seem that long ago since we witnessed Wednesday come from four goals down in their play-off semi-final with Peterborough United at Hillsborough to secure a date with Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley at Wembley - where they went on to win.
This was all just four short summer months ago and it already seems like a distant memory for the locals. Darren Moore, who the club stuck by following play-off heartbreak against the Lads back in 2021, surprisingly left Hillsborough of his own accord following promotion which has seemingly triggered a downward spiral.
Xisco Munoz was the man chosen to replace the popular Moore by the increasingly unpopular owner Dejphon Chansiri. If you wonder who Munoz is and where he’s from, you may have missed his cameo as one of the 500 hundred managers Watford have appointed over the years.
At Vicarage Road, his tenure lasted ten months, in which he steered the Hornets to runners-up spot and promotion to the Premier League - until, in true Watford fashion, they got rid and made him the Rocket Man after ten months in charge even though he asked them Don’t Go Breaking My Heart...
Anyway... Munoz hasn’t settled in South Yorkshire, with two draws and six defeats from the first eight league fixtures, the locals are restless. Following a 3-0 defeat last time out at Swansea City last weekend, a strong reaction was triggered by the manager chuckling in the post-match interview. Combine this with the owner releasing bizarre statements regarding the former manager, it doesn’t appear the happiest of camps.
Last time they were in the Championship back in 2020-21 they finished rock bottom, and currently find themselves rooted to the foot of the table once again - four points from safety. But for those of you like me, who witnessed Ade Akinbiyi net one against the Lads at Filbert Street many moons ago - if players/clubs can’t buy a win/goal, then it usually happens against us.
Sheffield Wednesday home form...
Sunderland away form...
The bookies fancy an away win tonight with odds of 13/10, while a first Wednesday league victory of the season is priced at around 2/1 and a draw is 23/10.
Head to head... at Hillsborough
- Sunderland wins: 16
- Draws: 18
- Sheffield Wednesday wins: 31
- Sunderland goals: 72
- Sheffield Wednesday goals: 122
Last time we met... at Hillsborough
Wednesday 10th August 2022
League Cup - 1st Round
Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Sunderland
[Adeniran 16’, Sow 56’]
Sunderland: Bass, Hume, Wright, Alese, Sohna, Roberts (Kelly), Winchester, O’Nien, Matete, Embleton (Spellman), Diamond Substitutes not used: Patterson, Cirkin, Batth, Neil, Gooch, Clarke, Simms
Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Palmer, Brown, Iorfa, Heneghan (Ihiekwe), James (Johnson), Byers, Adeniran (Hunt), Gregory (Sow), Paterson (Cook), Bakinson Substitutes not used: Stockdale, Dele-Bashiru, Bannan
Played for both...
It was back in 1997 when the Brazilian arrived in England, when the central defender signed for Ron Atkinson’s Sheffield Wednesday from Benfica. He spent two years at in South Yorkshire, before moving to the big smoke, when Chelsea paid around £3m for his services.
It was only a year later when Peter Reid paid around £4m to bring him back up north to the Stadium of Light after our first season of finishing 7th in the Premier League. He would suffer from injuries during his time at Sunderland and due to a clause that we had to pay Chelsea more money following his 50th appearance for the club, he would be stuck on 49 until leaving for Bolton in 2003.
If you want to listen back to our conversation with Emerson Thome where he talks about his career in general and with the Lads, you can do so here.