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Preview: Sheffield Wednesday v Blues

Our full match preview ahead of the New Year's Day fixture between the Owls and Blues at Hillsborough (3.00pm kick-off).

Garry Monk on picking up seven points from the last three games...
"Having seven points and three clean sheets from the last three games in such a short space of time is a fantastic return and a real positive for us. You can see clearly, they're giving everything, and their effort is huge. They want to win every single game because that's the mindset they have."

Garry Monk on the demands his players face and how hard he is pushing them....
“With the amount of games during this period it's a huge demand on the squad. Everyone knows where we're at with the squad and what we have and haven't got. What we'll try and do is recover and prepare and push these players to their maximum. This is probably the hardest they've been pushed, but credit to them because they've responded and they're giving everything that they've got so that’s all you can ask for. The biggest mistake anyone can make is judge these players on one game. They have to judge the players from where they were at the start to where they are now. They've made a huge step forward in terms of where we want to the Club to be and put us on another positive path. As it is our fans totally respect that and we go again in a few days’ time."

Garry Monk on coming up against Sheffield Wednesday...
"They've picked up their form and seem to be in a positive mood, as are we. We'll recover the players and go again. It's a big game and a hard game, but we want to finish this four-game period positively."

Sheffield Wednesday Caretaker Manager Lee Bullen's comments ahead of the game...
“The fans have been through a lot of ups and down in the last calendar year, that’s for sure. But hopefully the last three performances have lifted a few heads and with a bumper crowd at Hillsborough, I hope the lads can go out there and put on another good performance. If we can put on a good performance, then the result will take care of itself. There is big room for improvement in 2019 and we all accept that. There are over 20 games left and we want to finish as high as we can. There is nothing to fear. We know Garry Monk’s side have been on a heck of a run of form. They are up there challenging for the play-off positions and it will be a tough, tough game. But from our last three performances, you can see the confidence, belief and spirit coming back. We look forward to the game, but we know it will be difficult.”

Sheffield Wednesday team news...
Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and striker Steven Fletcher are set to return after missing the Owls' last game with bumps and bruises. Kieran Lee (knee), Gary Hooper (groin) and Sam Winnall (hamstring) all miss out. Fernando Forestieri (hamstring) is doubtful.

Blues team news...
Kristian Pedersen (ankle) is a doubt after missing Blues' last three games. Marc Roberts (hamstring), Isaac Vassell (hip) and David Davis (ankle) remain sidelined.

Last five meetings between Sheffield Wednesday and Blues...
Championship 27 Oct 2018 Blues 3 Sheff Wed 1
Championship 03 Feb 2018 Sheff Wed 1 Blues 3
Championship 27 Sep 2017 Blues 1 Sheff Wed 0
Championship 10 Feb 2017 Sheff Wed 3 Blues 0
Championship 17 Sep 2016 Birmingham 2 Sheff Wed 1

Form guide. Last five Championship fixtures....
Sheffield Wednesday: DLWWD
Blues: LDWWD

Head to head...
Sheffield Wednesday wins: 34
Blues wins: 38
Draws: 24

Ticket news...
Sheffield Wednesday have stated that they will not be selling tickets on the day of the game to Blues fans. As of Monday 31 December, Blues had sold 1,554 tickets.

BluesTV…
This fixture is available to watch live on BluesTV for £10.
A change in EFL broadcasting regulations now allows for non-televised Bank Holiday matches and re-arranged fixtures to be streamed at the discretion of the home side.
UK and international supporters can purchase a live stream of this game on a pay-per-view basis for just £10.
The multi-camera broadcast will be commentated on by Jonathan Bell.
Existing international package subscribers will not need to purchase a pay-per-view package, as it is included within their current subscription.
If you would like to subscribe to BluesTV, please click here.

Match officials…
Andy Woolmer will take charge of the game. So far this season, the Northamptonshire-based official has refereed 13 games where he has produced a total of 46 yellow cards and three reds. The last Blues game he refereed was our Championship home fixture against Preston North End in September 2016 which ended in a 2-2 draw. There were two players booked in that game; including Jacques Maghoma for Blues. The last Sheffield Wednesday match he refereed was their Championship away game at Preston in December 2016, which finished in a 1-1 draw. There were two players booked in that fixture; including Steven Fletcher for the Owls. Mr Woolmer will be assisted by Akil Howson and Nick Hopton, with Scott Duncan acting as the fourth official.

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