Wednesday may struggle to cope with the title-chasing Cherries
Sheffield Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray wanted a performance against Brentford on Tuesday. He didn’t really get one but what he did get was a rare three points at Hillsborough and a bit of self-belief ahead of the clash with Championship leaders Bournemouth.
Kieron Lee’s second-half strike saw off the Bees with, for once, the Wednesday defence managing to maintain concentration right through to the final whistle. Gray admitted that his team had played better and lost this season but was happy to finally give the Hillsborough faithful something to celebrate. Wednesday’s forwards still didn’t make the most of their chances – Sergiu Bus was particularly guilty on Tuesday instead of usual culprits Atdhe Nhui and Stevie May – but a win is a win and it dispels the myth that the Sheffield Wednesday players have already switched off.
But the Owls will have to be at their very best to get anything at the Goldsands Stadium. Bournemouth have their destiny in their own hands and the door to the Premier League is opening ever wider.
The Cherries are unbeaten in 10 and have won seven of those matches. They’ve scored 13 times in their last four matches so this will be a real test for Kieren Westwood and his defenders, though the Owls won 4-2 on the south coast last season – their first victory in five league meetings with Bournemouth.
Callum Wilson and Yann Kermogant are among the Championship’s leading strikers and will need close attention but Sheffield Wednesday’s away record is still among the best in the division – they’ve already won nine times – and they are likely to put up more resistance than most sides.
A top-finish finish would constitute a good season for Sheffield Wednesday considering their record in previous years and they are on course for that with three games remaining but Stuart Gray will want to look at some of his fringe players before the summer and Bournemouth may just be the more focused team. It’s difficult to look beyond a home win at 3/10 with the Cherries priced up at 11/4 to win by a two-goal margin.
The match kicks off at 3.00pm on Saturday, April 18 at the Goldsands Stadium.