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MATCH PREVIEW

PUBLISHED
16:00 29th September 2016
By  Kieran Cleeves

Gaetan Bong training

PREVIEW: SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY V ALBION


Brighton & Hove Albion play Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm.


TEAM NEWS

Albion manager Chris Hughton will be without midfielders Dale Stephens and Beram Kayal for the trip to Hillsborough.

Stephens was sent off in Albion’s 0-0 draw against Ipswich on Tuesday night, and will serve a one-game suspension, while Kayal remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

Steve Sidwell is likely to come in for Stephens, with Gataen Bong also in contention for a return after serving a one-game ban, but Sebastien Pocognoli will hope to retain his place at left-back.

Kazenga LuaLua (knee), Richie Towell (ankle) and Liam Rosenior (ankle) are all unavailable this weekend, as they continue to recover from long-term injuries, while Solly March is expected to feature for the under-23s in the coming weeks.

For the Owls, Sam Hutchinson was substituted in their 1-0 victory against Blackburn Rovers, and is doubtful for Saturday’s clash with the Seagulls due to injury.

Glenn Loovens is the most likely replacement for Hutchinson in central defence, with Wednesday boss Carlos Carvahal expected to name a similar line-up to the side that beat Rovers in midweek.


FORM

SHEFF WED DWWLWW
ALBION LWWLWD

The Seagulls have recorded four consecutive clean sheets in the Sky Bet Championship, most recently drawing 0-0 with Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Albion began the streak with a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at the Amex, before winning by the same scoreline against Burton Albion, thanks to Tomer Hemed’s late penalty.

A brace from Glenn Murray secured all three points for the Seagulls when Barnsley travelled south, a result which followed Albion’s EFL Cup exit, with Reading winning 2-1 at the Amex.

After a slow start to the season, Wednesday have turned their form around with four wins from their last five games.

The Owls sealed home victories over Wigan Athletic, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest, and triumphed 1-0 against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in their most recent game.

In amongst those results, the South Yorkshire club also suffered a 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City at St Andrews, after they conceded in stoppage-time to lose the game.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION



IPSWICH 0


ALBION 0

Albion line-up: Stockdale; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Pocognoli; Knockaert, Stephens, Norwood, Skalak (Murphy 72); Hemed (Sidwell 72), Murray.

Subs not used: Maenpaa (GK), Hunt, Goldson, Manu, Baldock.


LAST TIME OUT: SHEFF WED



BLACKBURN 0

SHEFF WED 1
Fletcher 22

Sheff Wed line-up: Westwood; Palmer, Lees, Hutchinson (Loovens 61), Reach; Buckley, Lee, Jones, Bannan; Hooper (Forestieri 73), Fletcher (Nuhiu 81).

Subs not used: Dawson (GK), Hunt, Wallace, Abdi.


HEAD-TO-HEAD

Saturday’s game will be the 34th meeting between the two clubs. Sheffield Wednesday boast 14 victories against the Seagulls, with the same number of games being drawn, while a further five games have been won by Albion.

The Seagulls are yet to record a victory at Hillsborough, with the last two league games finishing 0-0, excluding last season’s 2-0 play-off defeat in May.

Albion’s last win against the Owls came in the 2012/13 season at the Amex, with Wayne Bridge, Craig Mackail-Smith and Will Buckley scoring the goals in a 3-0 triumph.

Wednesday were victorious over two legs in last season’s play-off semi-final. Lewis Dunk’s early goal was cancelled out by Ross Wallace, as the sides drew 1-1 in the second leg at the Amex.


LAST TIME WE MET




ALBION 1
Dunk 19

SHEFF WED 1
Wallace 28


Albion line-up: Stockdale; Bruno, Dunk, Greer (Rosenior 77), Bong; Knockaert, Sidwell, Kayal, Skalak; Baldock (LuaLua 61), Wilson.

Subs not used: Maenpaa (GK), Calderon, Crofts, Towell, Murphy.

Sheff Wed line-up: Westwood; Lee, Loovens, Lees, Hunt; Lopez (Hutchinson 46), Pudil, Bannan, Wallace (Helan 65); Forestieri, Hooper (Nuhiu 71).

Subs not used: Wildsmith (GK), Sasso, Joao, Matias.