Saturday 11th February 2012 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Lowly Exeter City take on high-flying Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday at their St James’ Park ground and they’ll be hoping they’re not the subject of a Wednesday backlash with the visitors keen to get back to winning ways following their midweek 0-3 loss to Blackpool in the FA Cup fourth round replay.
Exeter City themselves need a win from somewhere as they currently sit just two places above the drop-zone and two points above Walsall who occupy the last remaining relegation place. It’s just one win in their last ten league matches and this dip in form has resulted in them slowly but surely sliding down the table.
The Grecians’ home record stands at 4-5-5 13/15, and their last home win was back in November against Tranmere Rovers where they won 3-0. Since then, three draws at home against Scnthorpe United, Yeovil Town and Hartlepool United along with a 0-1 defeat to Charlton Athletic means it’s been a pretty barren spell for the west country outfit lately. In addition, they suffered a 0-2 loss at Bournemouth in midweek and look set for more disappointment when The Owls come to town.
Exeter’s leading scorer is striker Daniel Nardiello (6 goals), but the goals have dried up for him as he hasn’t scored for eleven matches now. There seems little else in support either and I fancy they’ll be facing a long and arduous afternoon.
Sheffield Wednesday will be smarting from their midweek cup defeat against Blackpool and will certainly be looking for a swift turnaround when they travel to Exeter. The Owls sit in second place behind leaders Charlton and will see this fixture as an ideal opportunity to close the gap on them.
The Owls are in pretty solid form right now and have lost just once in their last seven matches; wins over Preston, Tranmere, Scnthorpe and Yeovil Town along with draws against MK Dons and Huddersfield Town mean that they’re in good shape to go all the way for automatic promotion.
Their away record stands at 7-3-5 24/23, and I daresay their leading scorer Gary Madine (12 goals) will be re-installed to the starting line-up along with midfielder Semedo (4 assists) and Reda Johnson (6 goals) has also contributed well.
Wednesday possess far more attacking depth and should really win this one quite comfortably; a 2-0 away win for The Owls here I reckon.
Main Pick: Sheffield Wednesday straight win @ 2.10 Ladbrokes
Value Pick: Sheffield Wednesday AH-1 @ 3.00 bet365