Meet the opposition | Sheffield Wednesday
As Swansea City prepare to face Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday (12pm), we take a closer look at the Owls.
What’s their story?
Sheffield Wednesday remain the last team outside the top tier to win one of English football’s major trophies, having claimed League Cup glory in 1991 with victory over Manchester United thanks to a John Sheridan goal.
The Owls, who reached the FA Cup and League Cup finals two years later, have spent most of their league history in the top flight but have not played at that level since being relegated in 2000.
They are in their eighth consecutive Championship season since being promoted to the second tier following a second-place finish in League One in 2012.
Wednesday came close to returning to the Premier League twice under former Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal; losing in the play-off final against Hull City at Wembley in 2016, and to Huddersfield in the semi-finals exactly 12 months later.
How’s their form?
Despite a strong start, Wednesday are struggling for form heading into the final stretch of the Championship season.
A regular feature in and around the play-off places until early January, a run of just two wins in 13 matches has seen the Owls slip into the bottom half of the table.
They made a positive return to action; salvaging a late point against Nottingham Forest before beating Bristol City 2-1.
However, they head to the Liberty on Sunday aiming for a response after Wednesday's 3-0 defeat at the hands of promotion-chasing West Brom.
Who’s the boss?
Garry Monk. A familiar face, Monk needs no introduction to Swansea fans given he gave the club more than a decade of service as player and manager.
The former defender made over 250 appearances and played in all four divisions after joining the Swans from Southampton in 2004.
He captained them in the Championship play-off final victory against Reading at Wembley seven years later, making one vital block to deny a determined Royals' fightback.
Monk went on to lift the first major trophy in the club's history following the League Cup final win over Bradford in 2013.
Following the departure of Michael Laudrup in February 2014, he took over as an interim manager and led the Swans to a memorable 3-0 derby victory over Cardiff in his first game under the lights of the Liberty.
His appointment became permanent at the end of the season and he oversaw an eighth-place finish in 2015 – the club’s best in the Premier League – but left the Swans after a disappointing start to the following campaign.
The 41-year-old has since had spells with Leeds, Middlesbrough and Birmingham, before replacing Steve Bruce at Hillsborough in September 2019.
Who are the key men?
Following the departure of 13-goal top scorer Steven Fletcher earlier this week, on-loan Connor Wickham is the man most likely to fill the void left by the Scotland international.
The former England Under-21 international, whose loan spell from Crystal Palace was extended until the end of the season, has found the net twice in Wednesday’s three games since their return.
Another player currently on loan at Hillsborough, Jacob Murphy has chipped in with five goals from the wing since his move from Newcastle United – making him the Owls’ second-leading scorer this campaign – while ex-Cardiff man Kadeem Harris also provides plenty of pace down the flanks.
The experienced Barry Bannan has notched up seven assists from midfield, with the former Aston Villa man missing just two games for Wednesday in 2019-20.
Meanwhile, there appears to have been a changing of the guard between the posts. Although Cameron Dawson has kept goal for most of the season, Joe Wildsmith has started all three of the Owls’ games since the campaign’s resumption.