The international break comes to an end this weekend as Town returns to action with a short Sky Bet Championship trip to Sheffield Wednesday; 3pm kick-off at Hillsborough on Saturday.
In 19 home games this season, the Owls have picked up just 21 points, scoring only 12 goals in the process. That includes a run of just one win in seven at home since the turn of the year. Having only four league wins at Hillsborough all season, their home form is the worst outside the teams in the relegation places.
However away from Sheffield, Wednesday’s players have performed excellently. The Yorkshire side has picked up 32 points on its travels, scoring double the amount of goals it has managed at home. On away form only, the Owls are the fifth best side in the division.
One of the key factors behind the team’s league position this season is defensive solidity. Having kept 15 clean sheets so far this campaign, only Middlesbrough has conceded fewer goals than Sheffield Wednesday.
Whilst clean sheets have been a regular feature of Wednesday’s season, goals have not always been as easy to come by. The Owls have scored the fewest goals apart from the teams in the bottom three, and an average of only 0.6 goals for each home game.
Without having one key figurehead to grab the goals, the side has shared the responsibility of finding the back of the net. Atdhe Nuhiu (pictured above), Stevie May, and Chris Maguire have all pitched in with over five goals in the league, with Nuhiu having already scored more goals than he did in the entirety of last season.
The Owls will definitely be without centre back and captain Glenn Loovens this weekend, who is still on the road to recovery having suffered a fractured ankle during training in mid-February.
The team will also be without Liam Palmer; the versatile defender and midfield player has been ruled out for the rest of the season after being stretchered off during the 1-1 draw at home to Fulham.
Striker Will Keane should be back after missing the recent derby against Rotherham; the Manchester United loanee was also injured in the match against Fulham, with Head Coach Stuart Gray (pictured above) citing the much-publicised state of the Hillsborough pitch as the reason for Keane and Palmer’s injuries.
Sheff Wed’s last line-up (4-5-1):
GK Keiren Westwood
DL Joe Mattock
DC Claude Dielna
DC Tom Lees
DR Marnick Vermijl
ML Jeremy Helan
MC Sam Hutchinson
MC Lewis McGugan (pictured below)
MC Kieran Lee
MR Lloyd Isgrove
S Atdhe Nuhiu
In team news for Town, James Vaughan returns to the squad following his one match suspension, whereas Nahki Wells and David Edgar will both be back from international duty.
Chris Powell believes Saturday will come too early for Harry Bunn (hamstring), whereas recent debutant Jake Charles withdrew from the Wales Under-21 squad due to a hip flexor problem earlier in the week.
Jonathan Hogg, who came off against Fulham with a hamstring issue, is still being monitored.
The game could feature a Huddersfield Town debut for new loan recruit Reece James.
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Town fans will be able to buy tickets from the cash turnstiles at Hillsborough on match day from 1.30pm at the same prices.
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