Owls Looking To Bounce Back Against Cheltenham At Hillsborough
Sheffield Wednesday will be hoping to put their late midweek misery behind them after an enthralling encounter with early pace-setters Plymouth Argyle ended with a 91st minute winner for the Pilgrims.
In what was, as a performance, one of Wednesday’s most impressive outings this season, a curious substitution in the second half which saw Barry Bannan and Josh Windass replaced by Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and Callum Patterson, seemed to change the tide of the game in which the hosts finished strongly. Darren Moore will be hoping his men can get back to winning ways back at Hillsborough with the visit of midtable Cheltenham Town.
Following the departure of their miracle working manager, Michael Duff, who joined Barnsley this summer, The Robins have made a settled start to the Wade Elliott era, with four wins, two draws and five defeats so far under their new head coach. Elliott, who was part of Duff’s coaching staff before taking the hotseat, has laid his blueprint on the squad with 17 incomings during the transfer window. A summer of change also saw Cheltenham lose a number of players, none more damaging than one of division’s most dominant defenders last year, Will Boyle, who joined Huddersfield Town following the expiration of his contract.
Speaking of losses, the Robins will travel to the Steel City without the menace of last season’s top scorer Alfie May who notched 23 last campaign and had three to his name this term before picking up an injury which could keep him on the sidelines for two months. Cheltenham do, however, pose the threat of Dan N’Lundulu who is their joint top league scorer this year along with May. The forward on loan from Southampton has four goals in all competitions as well as two assists and will be a key figure if Elliott’s side are to get anything from this game.
Another man who will be vital to any potential Cheltenham success, is another summer signing Ryan Broom. Capable of playing on the right as well as through the middle, Broom joined from Peterborough United having been a big part in Plymouth’s impressive team last season, appearing 43 times in his loan spell at Home Park, scoring four times and providing six assists.
The 26-year-old had previously enjoyed a stint at Whaddon Road between 2018 and 2020 in which he made 73 League Two appearances, scoring 10 times. Following his return, Broom got off the mark back at his old club this week with an 87th minute winner in a coupon-busting 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday, one of the surprise results in League One.
Saturday’s visitors will certainly come to Hillsborough in good spirits following that shock victory over Bolton which made it back-to-back league wins for the first time this season. Including their Papa John’s Trophy triumph over Walsall, Elliott’s side have won their last three games and come to South Yorkshire with just one defeat in their last five games in League One. So, Cheltenham might not be the pushover that many Wednesdayites would think.
For the hosts though, this is the type of team that they’ll really be wanting to put away comfortably if they’re to be real top-two contenders this year. George Byers has missed the last three with a knock but could be back in contention for this one, whilst last season’s top scorer, Lee Gregory, hasn’t started the last two and could make a return this weekend. A combination of poor finishing and inspired goalkeeping kept The Owls score to just one on Tuesday night but Moore’s men will be confident that if they create similar chances against The Robins then all three points will be staying firmly in Sheffield.