It's a first encounter between the Chairboys and Owls for eight years...
An unlikely friendship
Supporters of Wednesday and the Wanderers developed an affinity which has stood the test of time ever since the 487 away fans in a crowd of 38,028 joined in the party atmosphere at Hillsborough in May 2012, when the Owls secured promotion to the Championship against the already-relegated Blues. The Wycombe faithful were in congratulatory mood and ever since, messages of goodwill from grateful Wednesday fans have been a regular occurrence across social media.
Watch out, Jordan’s about
The Wednesday squad contains a name all too familiar to Wycombe fans, who won’t have forgotten Jordan Rhodes’ hat-trick for Norwich here in 2018, his five goals for Huddersfield in a 6-0 rout at Adams Park in 2012, the one he scored for Huddersfield two years earlier and possibly even the one he netted for Brentford in 2009.
While Wanderers came off the field on Tuesday night buoyant after an excellent display against Watford, yielding one point that could have been three, the Owls are licking their wounds from a 3-0 derby loss to Rotherham on Wednesday – their third loss on the spin. Garry Monk’s side began the season well, overcoming Cardiff on day one and collecting eight points from their first five, but setbacks to Brentford, Luton and the Millers have quashed hopes of speedily overturning the 12-point deficit with which they started the season.
Short at the back
Wednesday lost centre-backs Aden Flint and Tom Lees to an injury and red card respectively in midweek, meaning neither will feature at Adams Park, leaving them with one fit recognised central defender.
Former Blues in the ranks
Owls keeper Cameron Dawson played twice for the Wanderers during an emergency loan spell at the start of the 2016/17 campaign, while Kadeem Harris developed through Wycombe’s academy and faces the Blues for the first time since leaving for Cardiff in 2012.
When these sides met at Adams Park for the last time in October 2011, the Blues fielded 15-year-old starlet Jordon Ibe in attack, in the same team as Gareth Ainsworth who had played 116 senior appearances before Ibe was even born. And the teenager stole the show with a phenomenal solo goal – collecting a yellow card for celebrating with his family – but ended up on the losing side as the Owls poached a 2-1 win, with Ainsworth being sent off for receiving two bookings.
The wait for a win
Wycombe haven’t tasted victory in their four previous encounters with the Owls – losing 2-1 and drawing 1-1 in their 2003/04 meetings, as well as the two aforementioned fixtures in 2011/12 – but hope to end that sequence by collecting their first ever Championship win, following the succession of positive performances that finally earned a point in midweek.
With no new injuries, Ainsworth’s men are growing in strength with Uche Ikpeazu recently returning to the side and Dominic Gape, Jason McCarthy and Ryan Tafazolli all taking part in training.