Helan hoping his Etihad return will haunt his former employers.
Sheffield Wednesday are playing with no fear at present and are positively relishing a trip to the Etihad to face Capital One Cup holders and Premier League champions Manchester City this week.
City are coming off the back of a hard-fought draw with Chelsea on Sunday in which they played much of the second half of the match with 10 men following the sending off of Pablo Zabaleta. It’s not the first time that the Argentinian defender has seen red and he’ll now serve a two-match suspension meaning he won’t be available to face the Owls.
He won’t be the only change to Manuel Pellegrini’s starting line-up, however, as the Chilean fully utilised his big squad in the competition last season. So that could mean a rare start in goal for summer signing Willy Caballero and an even rarer appearance by forgotten man Scott Sinclair.
Bacary Sagna is Zabaleta’s natural replacement at right-back with Samir Nasri also back in contention having fallen out of favour a little recently. Luca Scapuzzi featured prominently in the competition last year and may also figure.
But Wednesday will arrive full of hope after just one defeat in 10 matches this campaign. It could hardly be going any better for Stuart Gray’s side this season and competition for places remains keen.
But the manager is unlikely to drop Kieren Westwood after the keeper’s outstanding performance against Reading at the weekend, when he saved a first-half penalty and kept his side level after the interval with a string of fine saves, even though Chris Kirkland has been preferred between the sticks in their capital One Cup games so far.
Stevie May will also surely start having settled in quickly since his move from St Johnstone. The Scot has quickly developed an understanding with big Serbian Atdhe Nuhiu and they’ll keep a potentially unfamiliar City defence occupied.
A big Wednesday following is guaranteed at the Etihad as it’s only a short trip across the top of the Pennines. The Owls have won four of their five away games this season and drawn the other.
They’ve yet to conceded a goal so far in the Capital One Cup and City have struggled against Championship opposition in recent years so maybe we’ve overpriced a Wednesday win at 10/1.
Jeremy Helan could play against his former club and the Wednesday winger is 14/1 to score anytime against his former employers.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Wednesday, September 24th at the Etihad.