Wednesday and Wolves share the spoils

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Att: 30,549

Sheffield Wednesday and Wolverhampton Wanderers played out an entertaining 0-0 draw at Hillsborough. Wolves will feel like they should have taken all three points though, hitting the post and bar and having a clear penalty appeal turned down. 

Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal made 5 changes coming into this match up with Wolves. Captain Glenn Loovens was a notably absentee, rested after the Owls New Years Eve draw away at Preston. Palmer, Pudil, Wallace and Nuhiu were the other ones to miss out with Hunt, Sasso, McManaman, Lee and Forestieri coming into the starting XI.

Callum McManaman, brought in on loan from Premier League side West Brom in the week made his first start for the club.

Wolves boss Paul Lambert too rang the changes with Connor Ronan, Joe Mason and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson coming into the starting line up for Ivan Cavaleiro, Bright Enobakhare and Nouha Dicko.

The first real chance of the match fell to the home side as Barry Bannan’s free kick was met by the head of centre back Vincent Sasso who saw his effort acrobatically’ tipped over the bar by Wolves ‘keeper Carl Ikeme.

Wolves had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down in the 16th minute as Joe Mason was brought down in the box but referee Simon Hooper decided the ball was played.

The Owls went close again soon enough as shot stopper Ikeme struggled to hold onto a deflected Steven Fletcher effort before blocking Fernando Forestieri’s on target rebound.

Wolves again had another strong penalty appeal turned down by referee Hooper as Westwood looked to have clearly felled Matt Doherty in the box. A decision that boss Paul Lambert clearly felt aggrieved by stating in his post-match press conference “how that wasn’t given was incredible – it was a stonewaller.”

Wanderers should have had the lead in the 40th minute. A cross clipped in from out wide saw a Jon Bodvarsson flick hitting the underside of the Wednesday cross bar. Joe Mason followed up but from just a few yards out managed to balloon his effort over the bar much to the delight of those Wednesday fans sat in the Kop. A possible miss of the season!!

The visitors started the second half brighter as Mason crashed a shot against the post from just outside the area after a mistake from Owls right back Jack Hunt.

Defender Matt Doherty also saw an effort blocked on the line by Wednesday defender Adam Reach as Wolves went in search of a goal to break the deadlock at Hillsborough early on in the second half.

Wednesday struggled to hold the ball for the first 20 minutes of the second half and looked void of any creativity as Wolves looked threatening. Joe Mason with another effort for the Wanderers after going through one on one with Westwood, the Wednesday stopper again thwarting the Midlands side forward.

The Owls had a huge penalty appeal of their own turned down in the 81st minute as Lucas Joao’s attempt was blocked by Wolves’ Richard Stearman, a decision that would have been harsh on the visitors due to Stearman’s close proximity to the Portuguese forward.

Neither side had any other notable chances in the last 10 minutes.

Wolves will feel like they should have left Hillsborough with all three points but Wednesday held on to leave the home side in 6th place and the play-offs whilst the visitors stay in 16th place in the table.

Man of the match: Connor Ronan

Connor Ronan, still only 18 and making his first start for the Midlands outfit, had an eye catching run out at Hillsborough. Always looking to get forward, the winger took on his man on several occasions and offered excitement for the travelling Wolves supporters.

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Barnsley U23’s earn valuable victory at Hillsborough

In a lively South Yorkshire derby Barnsley sealed a 2-1 at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday in their U23’s clash thanks to strikes from forwards Panutche Camara and Romal Palmer either side of a goal from Sheffield Wednesday winger Jack Stobbs.

Barnsley started the brighter side and were rewarded seven minutes in as a deflected cross from Dylan Mottley-Henry found its way to forward Panutche Camara who made no mistake from close range.

Barnsley made a bright start to the encounter and took an early lead at Hillsborough
Barnsley made a bright start to the encounter and took an early lead at Hillsborough

It was Sheffield Wednesday who scored next equalising on the 17th minute largely against the run of play after winger Jack Stobbs cut in from the left hand side to score a 20 yard effort which curled over Barnsley goalkeeper Tim Brown and nestled in the far top right hand corner of the net.

Sheffield Wednesday had a great opportunity to take the lead on the 41st minute as forward Devante Rodney was brought down in the box by Barnsley ‘keeper Tim Brown.

Devante Rodney stepped up himself but Tim Brown had the better of him on this occasion saving the spot kick with a great diving save low to his left hand side.

The Owls attacked the Kop end in the second half but proved toothless in front of goal in the dinner time kick off
The Owls attacked the Kop end in the second half but proved toothless in front of goal in the dinner time kick off

Barnsley retook the lead in the 52nd minute after another cross from Mottley-Henry this time found substitute Romal Palmer unmarked at the back post who finished calmly past Jake Kean into the top left hand corner.

In truth the second half lacked in quality and chances were few and far between after Barnsley retook the lead. George Hirst had an effort for Wednesday from close range in the 86th minute which was saved well by Barnsley’s Tim Brown but there was little else to report.

With that win Barnsley become the first team to win at Hillsborough this season as Sheffield Wednesday U23’s lost their unbeaten home status with today’s 2-1 defeat.

Capital One Cup: Quarter Final Preview

Tonight see’s the return of this years Capital One Cup campaign with three of the four quarter final matches kicking off at 19:45. The three matches in the competition tonight see three in-form Championship sides face tough tasks in playing Manchester City, Everton and Stoke respectively with Southampton taking on Liverpool at St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday night.

Although nothing is certain in cup competitions in England as upsets are becoming common place in the various different tournaments that are played out throughout the course of the season, I can only envisage three wins for the Premier League sides in tonight’s showdowns.

MANCHESTER CITY VS HULL CITY

In positive news for fans of the Manchester outfit, Manchester City playmaker David Silva could make his first start in nearly two months in the League Cup quarter-final against Hull. The Spaniard came on as a late substitute in City’s last outing against Southampton in the Premier League last Saturday.

David Silva could start for the first time in two months.
David Silva could start for the first time in two months.

As for their opposition, Hull sit fourth in the Championship after a very strong start to the season in which Steve Bruce’s side have conceded the fewest goals, alongside Derby County, in the league. Despite this, the Tigers will be without experienced centre back Michael Dawson who is struggling to overcome a hamstring injury.

Michael Dawson is out for Hull. Will his experience be missed in the heart of their defence?
Michael Dawson is out for Hull. Will his experience be missed in the heart of their defence?

Manchester City boss Pellegrini: “Maybe for teams that are out of some competitions – the Champions League or the Capital One Cup – it is easier to play in the Premier League. But we always want to continue in all the competitions.”

Hull boss Steve Bruce: “We have got to have the belief that we can go and take them on. Last year in the Premier League we caused them a few problems. Up until Friday we hadn’t been beaten for four months. We’ve had a really consistent run – we’ve only lost three out of 22 games, and so we can feel a bit confident.”

Although I fully expect Hull to play a tough game and make it difficult for the Premier League leaders, Manchester City should overcome the Championship outfit at the Etihad Stadium tonight. Manuel Pellegrini will recognise that with the other ‘bigger’ teams already out of the tournament, the opportunity presents itself here for Manchester City to take the first piece of silverware on offer this season.

MIDDLESBROUGH VS EVERTON

Aitor Karanka has a full-strength Boro squad to choose from after their 2-0 win over Huddersfield on Saturday. Striker Cristhian Stuani could make his first start since he recovered from an injury sustained on international duty. Middlesbrough are currently second placed in the Championship this season and are one of the free scoring teams in the second tier of English football. The side from the North-East also beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in the last sixteen round of the competition and will be confident after their success against the Red Devils.

Middlesbrough beat Manchester United on penalties to reach tonight's quarter final tie.
Middlesbrough beat Manchester United on penalties to reach tonight’s quarter final tie.

Roberto Martinez will give James McCarthy (groin) and Gareth Barry (shin) late fitness checks ahead of the League Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough. The Toffees boss has also confirmed keeper Joel Robles will start in goal.

Ross Barkley has been in impressive form for Everton this season. Could he help the Merseysiders win the cup this season?
Ross Barkley has been in impressive form for Everton this season. Could he help the Merseysiders win the cup this season?

Middlesbrough boss Karanka, whose side have beaten Manchester City and Manchester United in cup competitions in the last two seasons: “That can be our biggest problem – to think that because we beat Manchester City and Manchester United and played well against Liverpool and Arsenal, the game will be easy. The reason we did well against those teams is that we worked hard for 90 minutes or more. Just because we are close to the top of the table and we beat Manchester United in the last round and we’re playing at home and will be feeling the atmosphere, to be over-confident would be a big mistake.”

Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “In this competition I don’t think divisional status gives you a benefit. You need to be ready for the game with a clear understanding of how to perform. Clearly the mentality in our camp is to be ready – we can’t not be ready after the feeling at the weekend [drew 3-3 at Bournemouth].”

Along a similar vein to Manchester City vs Hull City, I think Middlesbrough will play well against their Premier League opposition but I fully expect Everton’s class to shine through and win the game for Roberto Martinez and the teams travelling supporters. Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley are in great form for the Merseyside club and if they feature in the match, I can only see an away win.

STOKE CITY VS SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

Stoke City will be without skipper Ryan Shawcross for the League Cup quarter-final visit of Sheffield Wednesday after he was dismissed in his sides loss to Sunderland last weekend. Mark Hughes will also be without goalkeeper Shay Given (knee) and centre back Marc Muniesa (hamstring) for this Capital One cup tie.

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross was dismissed at the weekend against Sunderland.
Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross was dismissed at the weekend against Sunderland.

Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal has only one injury to contend with as the Yorkshire sides manager is without key midfielder Barry Bannan (knee) for the trip to the Potteries who has been in great form this season for the Owls.

Sheffield Wednesday outclassed Arsenal in the last round of the Capital One cup.
Sheffield Wednesday outclassed Arsenal in the last round of the Capital One cup.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes: “We won’t underestimate Sheffield Wednesday in any way, shape or form. If you look at their progression in the competition they have beaten two Premier League sides already. We’re at home and when the draw was made if we’re honest enough we can say they were one of the teams we wanted to have. You can’t argue about that. If we’re going to progress it should be in our favour.”

Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carvalhal: “It will be cold and there will be rain probably. It’s not a good day to go to the football. There will be 4,000 fans in the rain and cold and they pay for a ticket to see us play. This means we must play to them. It happened at Blackburn on Saturday and it will happen again. We must play to all the fans. We will give 300%, give everything on the pitch and we will do that.”

In my opinion this will be the closest tie of the night in the Capital One cup as Sheffield Wednesday have already dumped Newcastle and Arsenal out of the competition en route to the quarter final stage this season. However much like the other two encounters tonight I think that the Premier League side will have a narrow advantage and expect Stoke City’s Premier League class to shine through on the night.