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MATCH PREVIEW

PUBLISHED
16:00 19th January 2017
By  Kieran Cleeves

Lewis Dunk celebrates.

PREVIEW: ALBION V SHEFF WED


Brighton & Hove Albion play Sheffield Wednesday at the Amex on Friday night, kick-off 7.45pm.


TEAM NEWS

Albion manager Chris Hughton will have Lewis Dunk available for selection after the defender completed his two-game suspension.

Dale Stephens and Sebastien Pocognoli will also return after recovering from illness and injury respectively, while Gaetan Bong remains sidelined with a knee injury.

For Wednesday, Kieran Lee will be unavailable after undergoing surgery on a hip injury, with the midfielder facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

New signing Sam Winnall will be hoping to make his first league start for the Owls after joining the club from Barnsley, following his substitute appearance against Huddersfield Town last weekend.


FORM

ALBION
WWWWWL
SHEFF WED WWDDLW


Albion’s 18-game unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat against Preston North End at Deepdale last weekend, which included a missed penalty from Tomer Hemed in stoppage time.

The Seagulls had previously recorded six consecutive victories, as they strengthened their position at the top end of the Sky Bet Championship, while also progressing to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Goals from Beram Kayal and Hemed sealed a 2-0 win against MK Dons in the third round, which followed a comeback victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage, thanks to second-half goals from Hemed and Lewis Dunk.

Hughton’s team beat Queens Park Rangers 3-0 shortly after Christmas, and also came from behind against Birmingham at St Andrew’s, as late strikes from Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray earned the Seagulls a 2-1 success.

Albion began their six-game winning run with a comfortable 2-0 win over Leeds United at the Amex, before edging out Blackburn Rovers in a game that finished 3-2 at Ewood Park.

Sheffield Wednesday currently occupy the final play-off spot in the Championship, and come to the Amex off the back of a 2-0 victory over promotion-chasing Huddersfield.

The Owls were knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round by Middlesbrough, as the Premier League side overcame Carlos Carvalhal’s men 3-0 at the Riverside.

Back-to-back draws with Preston and Wolverhampton Wanderers were recorded either side of the New Year, which followed three consecutive victories in December.

Wednesday beat Barnsley and Rotherham United at Hillsborough, 2-0 and 1-0 respectively, before sealing an impressive 1-0 victory against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION



PRESTON 2
Huntington 13
Robinson 53


ALBION 0

Albion line-up: Stockdale; Bruno, Goldson, Duffy, Adekugbe; Knockaert, Sidwell (Kayal 73), Norwood, Skalak (Murphy 56); Baldock (Hemed 63), Murray.

Subs not used: Maenpaa (GK), Huenemeier, March, Hunt.


LAST TIME OUT: SHEFF WED



SHEFF WED 2
Wallace 54
Forestieri 90+2


HUDDERSFIELD 0

Sheff Wed line-up: Westwood; Hunt (Palmer 80), Loovens, Lees, Pudil; Wallace (McManaman 87), Bannan, Hutchinson, Reach; Forestieri, Fletcher (Winnall 46).

Subs not used: Wildsmith (GK), Sasso, Jones, Nuhiu.


HEAD-TO-HEAD


Saturday’s game will be the 35th meeting between the two clubs. Sheffield Wednesday boast 14 victories against the Seagulls, with the same number of games being drawn, while a further six games have been won by Albion.

The Seagulls recorded their first-ever victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in October, as goals from Sam Baldock and Knockaert proved enough to secure all three points, despite Gary Hooper’s late strike.

The sides met four times last season, drawing 0-0 in both league fixtures, before the Owls progressed to the Championship Play-off Final after beating the Seagulls 3-1 on aggregate over two legs.

After losing 2-0 in the opening leg, Lewis Dunk scored early at the Amex to give Albion a lifeline, but Ross Wallace had the final say with an equalising goal to book Wednesday’s place at Wembley.


LAST TIME WE MET



SHEFF WED 1
Hooper 90+5

ALBION 2
Baldock 26
Knockaert 73


Albion line-up: Stockdale; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Norwood, Sidwell, Murphy; Murray (Hemed 89), Baldock (Skalak 76).

Subs not used: Maenpaa (GK), Pocognoli, Goldson, Ince, Manu.

Sheff Wed line-up: Westwood (Dawson 46); Hunt, Loovens, Lees, Pudil (Hooper 48); Wallace, Bannan, Lee, Reach; Forestieri, Fletcher.

Subs not used: Sasso, Jones, Palmer, Buckley, Nuhiu.