Meet the opposition: Sheffield Wednesday

11th December 2018
First team

As Swansea City get set to face Sheffield Wednesday at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, we take a closer look at the men from the Hillsborough.

What’s their story?

Sheffield Wednesday were last in the top flight in 2000, where they had been for all but one of the previous 16 seasons.

Since then the Owls have had four campaigns in what is now called League One and the rest have been in the second tier.

This is their seventh consecutive Championship season following their promotion in 2012.

A successful spell under the guidance of former Swans boss Carlos Carvalhal saw Wednesday twice come close to Premier League promotion, as they lost in the 2015-16 play-off final before and then in the semi-finals 12 months later.

Wednesday had a strong spell came in the early 1990s, where promotion from the second-tier was followed by a third-place finish in the top flight and back-to-back seventh-placed finishes in the new Premier League.

They have won four titles and three FA Cups, but their only major success in recent memory was the 1990-91 League Cup.

 

How’s their form?

Wednesday made a promising start to the season, taking points from the likes of Stoke, Aston Villa, Leeds and West Brom, but have struggled for form of late.

The Owls have won just once in their last nine games – that was a 1-0 triumph over struggling Bolton in November – and have conceded more goals (38) than any other side in the division this season.

Last Saturday’s draw against Rotherham will give Wednesday some confidence coming into the Swans clash, but they are need of wins.

 

Who’s the boss?

Jos Luhukay. A former midfielder, Luhukay took over the reins at Hillsborough in January following Carvalhal’s departure almost 12 months ago.

The 55-year-old spent his early career playing in his native Netherlands before moving to Germany in 1993, where he represented KFC Uerdingen in between two spells at SV Straelen.

Nicknamed ‘The Little General’ at his previous clubs, Luhukay has plenty of managerial experience following stints at Borussia Monchengladbach, FC Augsburg, Hertha BSC and VfB Stuttgart all on his CV.

He is a two-time winner of the German second division, having triumphed with Monchengladbach and Hertha.

 

Who are the key men?

Young goalkeeper Cameron Dawson has played every minute of the Championship season so far and has been praised by many for his distribution.

In defence, captain Tom Lees has been a central figure for Wednesday having missed just one game.

Lees is often deployed in a back three alongside Jordan Thorniley and Michael Hector, and the trio will be looking for Wednesday’s third clean sheet of the season on Saturday.

In midfield, former Aston Villa and Crystal Palace man Barry Bannan will miss the game through suspension having picked up his 10th yellow card of the season last weekend.

He could be replaced by promising Tottenham youngster Josh Onomah, who is on loan at Wednesday for the season.

Adam Reach has been a standout player with five goals – a couple of which were stunning – and three assists so far this campaign.

Up front, the powerful Lucas Joao is Wednesday’s top scorer with eight goals, while Scotland international Steve Fletcher is an experienced option for Luhukay. Fernando Forestieri will miss out this weekend with injury.