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Big match preview: Doncaster Rovers v Sheffield Wednesday

Will Dickov be cheering again as he was at Hillsborough in September?

Will Dickov be cheering again as he was at Hillsborough in September?

  • by Liam Hoden
 

What would make a brilliant run even better for Rovers? How about the first league double of the season?

And one against local rivals Wednesday would be particularly sweet.

This is one of only two chances Rovers have remaining to land a double – the other being against champions-elect Leicester on the final day.

Saturday’s derby is particularly exciting given both sides are on decent runs, with confidence high.

And there are plenty of similarities between Rovers and Wednesday.

Both are at their best when they show relentless energy, harassing the opposition and getting in their faces.

And both are more than capable of failing to turn up and finding themselves on the end of a hiding.

Wednesday have been a team of evolution this season. In Dave Jones’ later days as boss, there were a side lacking ideas, particularly in the final third.

This was none more apparent than when Rovers visited Hillsborough and picked up their solitary away triumph so far this season.

Rovers turned in probably their worst away performance up to that point in late September as the Owls dominated. But Dickov’s men produced the suckerpunch with Federico Macheda’s header for a 1-0 steal.

Under Stuart Gray, they have emerged from the fug to play with freedom and confidence with worries over a protracted relegation fight evaporating.

Gray, more often than not, sends his side out in a standard 4-4-2 with wingers that will look to cut inside.

Much of Wednesday’s play goes through Kieron Lee, transformed from a right back into a classy playmaker in the heart of midfield. Restricting his space will slow the Owls down considerably.

Hard working forward Atdhe Nuhiu is another transformed man, evolving from an awkward, ponderous target man to a tireless giant with the most surprisingly elegant of touches.

Wednesday swept past ten man QPR with ease on Tuesday night for a 3-0 win that could easily have been greater.

Should both sides produce similar performances to those they have turned in recently, the game will be a classic.

Verdict: Draw

 

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