The Shrimps host former Championship side Sheffield Wednesday at the Mazuma Stadium for another exciting Sky Bet League One fixture.
Stephen Robinson’s reds head into the fixture on the back of an impressive display, despite defeat, against Preston North End in Round Two of the Carabao Cup.
The Owls, managed by former West Brom chief Darren Moore, find themselves unbeaten in the league so far, and sit at the top of the league as a result on 10 points.
Both sides have only played each other once before, on 13 November 2011 in the FA Cup. In what was a fiercely fought tie at the Globe Arena, it was then manager Gary Megson’s side that claimed victory by two goals to one.
Having been relegated on the final day of last season, the South Yorkshire side understandably are keen to escape the division at the first time of asking, and they couldn’t really have started in better fashion.
Other than an opening day draw away to Charlton Athletic, Moore’s men have gone on to claim maximum points in their following three games against Doncaster Rovers, Fleetwood Town and Rotherham United respectively. After four league games, the Owls have scored five and conceded none.
Darren Moore took up the Hillsborough hotseat in March 2021, his third full time managerial position following stints at West Brom and Doncaster Rovers. Since joining the club 178 days ago, the 47-year-old has taken charge of 19 matches and has won six, drawn five and lost eight, giving him a points-per-match average of 1.21.
Callum Paterson’s pre-match thoughts
Scottish international striker Callum Paterson, who signed for the Owls in September 2020, admits that his side will be working hard ahead of their visit to the Mazuma Stadium.
Speaking to their official club website, he said: “It’s always nice to go to a new ground and play a new team and hopefully we can come back with three points.
“We’ve had a good start but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We will keep doing what we have been doing, working hard in training, doing our work tactically and all the video work.
“We do a lot of defensive work, the strikers work hard at the top and that makes it easier for the defenders. We have the togetherness of the team and that’s really important.”
Wednesday’s key players
Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell joined the club on a season-long loan from Premier League side Burnley in July and has made an excellent start to his Hillsborough career. The 24-year-old, who is also a regular international for Northern Ireland, has played all five games so far this season and has kept five clean sheets, only conceding in a penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Huddersfield United in Round One of the Carabao Cup.
Club captain Barry Bannan brings a wealth of experience to this Wednesday side, having racked up 446 career appearances to date, scoring 28 goals and providing 64 assists. Furthermore, the 31-year-old made 27 first team appearances for his native Scotland. Bannan is a firm fans favourite at Wednesday and, since arriving in August 2015, has gone on to score 14 goals and provide 39 assists in 263 appearances for the club.
Summer signing Lee Gregory arrived at the club in August and has made an impressive start for the Owls, scoring two goals in his three League One appearances so far. The 33-year-old spent a large chunk of his playing career at at Millwall, making 238 appearances and scoring 76 goals and providing 28 assists for the London club.
Shrimps’ pre-match thoughts
Ahead of the game, manager Stephen Robinson admits that, despite expecting a tough challenge at the weekend, it’s one that the club looks forward to.
“That’s what we’re here for,” Robinson said.
“All that hard work last season and to get into this level of football, these are the games fans want to come to.
“You seen the atmosphere on Tuesday night, it’ll be another full house on Saturday and we’re really looking forward to it.
“Make no mistake, it’s a tough, tough challenge, they’ve not conceded a goal yet but hopefully we aim to change that.”
Meet the men in black
Cumbria-based Anthony Backhouse will take charge of Saturday’s fixture with Mark Cunliffe and Matthew Parry running the line and Ivan Stankovic taking the role as the Fourth Official.
Backhouse has taken charge of five games so far this season, two in League One, one in League Two and two in the Carabao Cup. Out of those games, he has issued a total of 21 yellow cards.
The official took charge of the Shrimps on two occasions last year, including our 4-0 home win over Manchester United U21’s in the Papa John’s Trophy as well as our 1-0 away defeat at Mansfield Town.
Don’t miss a kick with our iFollow coverage
After teaming up with Beyond Radio for the 2021/22 season, supporters will be able to listen to exclusive, full and uninterrupted radio commentary of every single game, home and away, which will be broadcast simultaneously across North Lancashire on 103.5 and 107.5FM, as well as on the iFollow Shrimps platform.
Joining host Dave Salmon is the club’s media assistant Matt Smith and summer signing Jon Obika, audio passes are available from as little as £2.50 per match, £4.49 for a monthly pass or £45 for a season pass.
As well as full match commentary, the ‘Shrimps Verdict’ podcast will be available post-match, featuring online, on demand content, including audio match highlights, post-match interviews and reaction, and the chance for supporters to have their say.