Meet the opposition: Sheffield Wednesday

19th February 2019
First team

Swansea City return to Championship action this weekend with a trip to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday.

Here, we take a closer look at the South Yorkshire club.

What's their story?

The Owls are in their seventh-consecutive season in the Championship having got back up to the second tier in 2012 after finishing second in League One.

They came close to returning to the Premier League under former Swansea City boss Carlos Carvalhal.

They reached the play-off final under the Portuguese in 2016, only to be beaten by Hull at Wembley, and they lost to Huddersfield in the semi-finals 12 months later.

Their last Premier League campaign was in 2000, bringing to an end a nine-year stay in the top-flight that had seen them finish as high as third and reach the FA Cup and League Cup finals in 1993.

Their last major honour was their League Cup win in 1991, the same year they were promoted to the top-flight, whilst they also have four top-flight titles and three FA Cup triumphs to their name.

How's their form?

Improving. Wednesday have lost just once in the Championship since their defeat to the Swans at the Liberty Stadium in mid-December, winning four and drawing five in that sequence.

Since Steve Bruce took charge at the start of the month they have beaten Ipswich and drawn with Rotherham, Millwall and Reading, helping them to climb to 15th in the table, just two places and three points adrift of the Swans.

They have lost just three league games at Hillsborough all season, but have won just five of their 15 games on their own patch.

Who's the boss?

Former Birmingham, Aston Villa and Hull boss Bruce agreed to take over the reins in February, following the dismissal of Jos Luhukay in the wake of their Liberty Stadium loss.

Bruce was appointed on January 2, but did not take charge until this month with his assistants Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence in control until his arrival.

The 58-year-old, best remembered for his successful stint at Manchester United captain during his playing career, started his managerial career with Sheffield United before having stints with Huddersfield, Wigan and Crystal Palace.

From there he went to Birmingham, twice getting the Blues promoted to the Premier League in 2002 and 2007.

A return to Wigan and a stint at Sunderland followed, before he moved to Hull and repeated his feat from his Birmingham days by twice getting the Tigers promoted to the top-flight, as well as guiding them to the 2014 FA Cup final.

He was most recently in charge of Villa, leaving them in October of last year.

Who are the key men?

Midfielder Adam Reach has had an eye-catching campaign, chipping in with seven goals including some stunning strikes from distance for the Owls, as well as providing five assists.

Powerful striker Lucas Joao is their topscorer with nine goals, and he has started the last two games ahead of Steven Fletcher.

Fernando Forestieri has been working his way back to his best form following a succession of injury problems, but he will miss out against the Swans after receiving a second yellow card celebrating Wednesday's late equaliser at Rotherham at the weekend.

Central defender and captain Tom Lees has been struggling with a shin injury, but they can call on the experience of keeper Keiren Westwood and combative midfielder Barry Bannan.