Preview: Sheffield Wednesday vs. Watford – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Championship clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Watford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sheffield Wednesday play host to Watford on Wednesday evening looking to move closer to getting out of the Championship relegation zone.

At a time when the Owls sit in 23rd position in the standings, Watford are 10th but within touching distance of moving into the playoff spots.

Match preview

Sheffield Wednesday's Djeidi Gassama celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 27, 2024© Reuters

With seven wins from 19 matches in charge of Sheffield Wednesday, it is fair to say that the jury is still out on Danny Rohl with the club some way adrift of safety.

Although six points have been collected from their last four fixtures in the Championship, Wednesday have not been helped by the teams above them keeping their respective tallies ticking over.

Rohl and his players have been embroiled with a double-header against Coventry City of late, initially losing 2-1 to the Sky Blues in the league on January 13.

However, six days later, the Yorkshire giants were able to earn a 1-1 draw with the same opponents in the FA Cup fourth round, the winner of the replay in the Midlands going through to a last-16 tie with non-league Maidstone United.

Nevertheless, with relegation rivals Huddersfield Town to follow this contest, Rohl’s focus is firmly on trying to keep within touching distance of 21st spot, the current gap being six points.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Rohl reacts on January 26, 2024© Reuters

Meanwhile, Watford deserve credit for remaining in contention with the top six, the Hornets being rewarded for backing Valerien Ismael.

Just two defeats have been posted in 13 matches in all competitions, Watford currently on a six-game undefeated streak albeit with four draws.

Both of their victories came by 2-1 scorelines against Chesterfield and Queens Park Rangers, performances that were hardly convincing, but Ismael will be satisfied with the response.

On the back of a 1-1 draw at Bristol City in their most recent league game, Watford held Southampton to a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, that outcome a disappointment to Ismael with the Saints equalising in the 89th minute.

In the reverse fixture between these sides in October, Watford ran out 1-0 winners courtesy of a late goal from Yaser Asprilla.

Sheffield Wednesday Championship form:

Sheffield Wednesday form (all competitions):

Watford Championship form:

Watford form (all competitions):

Team News

Watford manager Valerien Ismael before the match on January 14, 2024© Reuters

Having made changes for the FA Cup tie with Coventry, Rohl may revert back to a team closer to the one that started Sheffield Wednesday’s previous league fixture.

That would see the likes of Liam Palmer, Will Vaulks and Ashley Fletcher all restored to the starting lineup, with new arrival Ike Ugbo is in contention to feature in attack.

Goalkeeper James Beadle should return between the sticks, but Dominic Iorfa and Callum Paterson remain on the sidelines.

Ismael is also likely to tinker with his Watford side given the three-day turnaround, the players who were rested on Sunday coming back into the team.

Matheus Martins will hope to keep his place, however, having netted against Southampton, Giorgi Chakvetadze potentially missing out to accommodate him.

Emmanuel Dennis may remain among the substitutes, but Jeremy Ngakia, Edo Kayembe and Ken Sema will all miss out through injury.

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Beadle; Valentin, Ihiekwe, Bernard, Johnson; Palmer, Vaulks; Windass, Bannan, Gassama; Fletcher

Watford possible starting lineup:
Hamer; Andrews, Porteous, Hoedt, Morris; Livermore; Asprilla, Dele-Bashiru, Kone, Chakvetadze; Rajovic

SM words green background

We say: Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Watford

Despite the difference in league positions, this has all the makings of a competitive fixture, Wednesday also having an extra two days rest. With that in mind, we are backing the home side to come through by the odd goal in three, potentially through a late strike.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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