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In Focus: Tony Pulis | Preston North End v Wednesday

News November 19, 2020

The Owls travel to Deepdale to take on Preston North End this Saturday afternoon at 3pm

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Written by Dominic Chapman, Low6 Columnist (chapperss_23)

New manager Tony Pulis begins his Sheffield Wednesday tenure on Saturday afternoon.

The Owls travel to Deepdale to take on Preston North End as the domestic action returns.

Wednesday currently sit 23rd in the Championship standings, with their Lancashire peers 7 points ahead in 14th.

But can Tony’s men bridge the gap on the other side of the Pennines this weekend?

We take a look at how the new gaffer has fared on his opening game in charge of his last five roles in management…

Middlesbrough 0-1 Aston Villa | 30th December 2017

It wasn’t to be for Boro at the first time of asking.

Just three days after Pulis’ appointment at the Teeside club, they would face an out-of-form Aston Villa.

But the Birmingham side would land the spoils as Robert Snodgrass spoiled the party late on, giving the new boss the worst possible start.

They would go on to beat our Saturday opponents Preston in their next match, however…

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Hull City | 10th January 2015

Having watched from the stands on New Year’s Day, the date he was officially announced, Pulis wouldn’t take the reins at the Baggies until 9 days later.

Albion had won one of their previous ten matches and faced somewhat of a relegation six-pointer with the Tigers at The Hawthorns.

A nervy game could have gone either way, but Saido Berahino’s goal was ultimately the decider as Tony got off to a flier in the West Midlands.

He would then retain his perfect record, thereafter, never being relegated as a manager as West Brom survived the drop that season…

Norwich City 1-0 Crystal Palace | 30th November 2013

Having left his beloved Stoke earlier in the year, Pulis returned to the Premier League to take over at lowly Crystal Palace.

The Eagles had struggled in the early months of life back in the top-flight and sat bottom of the table on just seven points from 13 games.

And more misery would be compounded on the south London side in Norfolk.

Norwich City took the spoils at Carrow Road thanks to Gary Hooper, leaving Palace six points adrift of safety.

Three wins from their next five games would be enough to maintain their status at the elite level, though…

Southend United 1-0 Stoke City | 5th August 2006

Another tight affair, but another defeat.

This time in Essex.

Pulis returned to Stoke in the summer having left the Staffordshire club a year earlier, but he would be thwarted first time out by Championship new boys, Southend.

Freddie Eastwood’s 14th minute penalty was enough to mean that the points stayed at Roots Hall.

The Potters would win their next game against Derby, before going onto draw their next five matches in a row…

Southampton 0-0 Plymouth Argyle | 24th September 2005

Just a day after his appointment, Pulis took his new side Plymouth to Hampshire to take on Harry Redknapp’s Southampton.

With Argyle in a bit of bother in the Championship, a cautious and pragmatic display got them back on track as they took a point back to Devon.

A steady start to build on, they would go onto finish 14th.


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Here’s how we think Wednesday’s clash with Preston will play out…

  1. Will Wednesday win? Yes – Wednesday eased the bad run of form by picking up four points from their two games before the international break. Preston sit in mid-table, but have not fared too pretty at home so far this season. The Owls can inflict a fourth defeat in a row at Deepdale for North End.
  2. How many goals will Wednesday score? 1 – Pulis hasn’t had an abundance of high-scoring openers in his time, but yet 1 goal may be enough. Preston have netted just one goal in their last three home matches, and Wednesday have conceded just once in as many.
  3. Will Wednesday score in the 1st half? No – The Owls may just bide their time and can expect the home side to probably start on the front foot. They may just be happy to keep it honours even in the first half and take advantage of any second half mishaps.
  4. How many shots will Wednesday have on target? 2 – Tony Pulis sides historically are pragmatic, so he probably won’t want to try and break the North End door down on too many occasions. They will have their chances, though, and with the likes of Windass, Marriot and Brown, have enough firepower to test Declan Rudd.
  5. How many corners will Wednesday have? 4-6 – Owls fans can probably expect that set-pieces will key a key advantage from an attacking point-of-view, so corners are vitally important. When they get their key spells of pressure, they need to make them count, so essentially giving yourself three hits at this question seems the safe option.
  6. How many saves will Wednesday’s goalkeeper make? 3 – Wednesday have the seventh best defence in the league, and two clean sheets in a row will fill Joe Wildsmith with confidence. He faced somewhat of a barrage from Bournemouth at Hillsborough and was untested by Millwall. Preston are the highest scorers of sides in the bottom half of the table so will no doubt test him, and Wednesday Bet players (39%) seem to think that he’ll make 3 saves.

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