The Owls make the long trip south to Devon to take on League Two side Exeter in FA Cup third round
Dominic Chapman, Wednesday Picks Predictor (chapperss_23) [66% strike-rate]
The oldest competition in the world returns as Sheffield Wednesday travel to Exeter City on Saturday afternoon in the FA Cup third round.
Wednesday are unbeaten in their last four and lifted themselves out of the Championship relegation places, after Tony Pulis left the club.
But their domestic tasks now focus outside of the league as they prepare to face the Greacians, a team who sit two divisions below them.
Last season’s beaten play-off finalists sit 10th in England’s fourth tier, albeit with games in hand, but are in search of a first win in three here.
This will be only the 12th meeting between the clubs and the first FA Cup clash.
They last met at St James Park back in February 2012 in League One, an encounter the hosts ran out 2-1 winner.
Jermaine Johnson opened the scoring for the South Yorkshire side before goals from Billy Jones and David Noble secured the points for City.
But how will Saturday’s tie fare?
The visitors will be without interim head coach Neil Thompson following a covid-19 outbreak, so Andy Holdsworth takes the reins.
We make our predictions…
- Will Sheffield Wednesday beat Exeter City? Yes.
Three-time winners of the competition, Wednesday have made it past the third round of the FA Cup in three of the last five seasons.
They saw off Premier League Brighton at this stage twelve months ago, and have been presented with a very winnable opportunity here.
Exeter have only one won of their last four home matches too, a stat the Owls will be keen to take advantage of.
2. How many goals will Sheffield Wednesday score? 1.
In two of their last three successes, it’s only taken one goal to seal victory for the Hillsborough side and that may be the case again here.
Despite their lowly position in the league, Wednesday’s defence is the second tightest in the bottom half of the Championship.
The main criticism has been a lack of fire power up front, but they’ve certainly evened the balance in their last four outings.
3. Will Sheffield Wednesday score in the second half? No.
The Owls haven’t scored in the second half of an away match since the defeat at Norwich back on 5th December.
Even then, 60% of their last five strikes have arrived before the interval.
It may be wise to oppose here and hope that they can get the job done in the early stages.
4. How many corners will Sheffield Wednesday be awarded? 4+.
Since Tony Pulis left his post, the South Yorkshire side have averaged just one corner per game in their previous two games.
Even in his final game, they mustered a sole set piece at Blackburn.
But in their previous encounter with a lower division side this season, Rochdale away in the EFL Cup, they attained 13 corners inside the 90 minutes.
With confidence on side and back against a side when they will be expected to make the play, no doubt they will earn their set-pieces.
5. How many shots on target will Sheffield Wednesday have? 4+.
Exeter’s defence isn’t rock solid, having conceded 26 league goals in 19 outings this campaign, so Wednesday will surely get their chances.
The penny finally dropped against Middlesbrough but it was back to effective rather than clinical against Derby next time out.
However, they’ve still averaged 4 shots on target in their last three matches.
6. How many saves will the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper make? 3.
For all that City’s backline may not be the strongest, there’s no doubting their attacking threat.
The Greacians boast the highest goals scored in League Two, despite having three games in hand on same in some cases.
This is the FA Cup and all sides facing stiff opposition will be fancying themselves to secure a scalp.
You can bank that the hosts will make a game of it and test the palms of Joe Wildsmith.
- Will Sheffield Wednesday be awarded a penalty? No.
- How many goals will Callum Paterson score? 0.
- How many assists will Adam Reach have? 1.
- How many tackles will Liam Shaw make? 2.
- Will Barry Bannan score? No.
- How many shots on target will Kadeem Harris have? 0.
- How many tackles will Tom Lees make? 1.
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