Ipswich v Sheffield Wednesday: Four key questions ahead of Championship game

Are Sheffield Wednesday underperforming? Does Mick McCarthy get enough credit? Here are four key questions ahead of Ipswich's encounter with the Owls on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm.

Does Mick McCarthy get enough credit?

With just over five years in the job at Portman Road, the fact that McCarthy is the eighth-longest serving manager in the country says a lot about the ruthless nature of modern football. But in his time at the club, he has faced his fair share of pressure.

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Plenty of criticism was aimed in his direction at the tail end of last season, and perhaps deservedly so; the 16th-place finish marked the club's worst finish in 58 years. The Ipswich hierarchy stuck by their man and six wins from nine to start this campaign backed up their decision.

The promising opening results may have dropped off since the end of September, but alongside the Owls, McCarthy's squad are modestly coasting in the top-half of the table with the play-offs firmly in their sights.

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Mick McCarthy, manager of Ipswich looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Burton Albion and Ipswich
Image: Mick McCarthy's Ipswich have improved after last season's 16-place finish

Are Wednesday underperforming?

The Owls are unbeaten in their last four league outings and sit twelfth in an extremely tight Championship table, but after reaching the play-offs with a fourth-place finish in 2016/17, they've already registered five defeats.

In his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, boss Carlos Carvalhal said his players "need support", but he recognised fans' frustrations with the on-pitch inconsistencies.

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City

They had already chalked up one more defeat at the same stage last season, so have improved in that respect, but with their noisy neighbours Sheffield United soaring in second spot, the Portuguese certainly has some work to do to restore parity in the Steel City.

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Will Waghorn continue his goalscoring form?

Martyn Waghorn of Ipswich celebrates scoring against Millwall
Image: Martyn Waghorn of Ipswich celebrates scoring against Millwall

Before his move to Scottish side Rangers in 2015, Martyn Waghorn had failed to capture the imagination of English audiences, with single-figure returns in all but one season following spells with Charlton, Leicester, Hull, Millwall and Wigan.

In two seasons with Rangers, he repaid their faith with 44 goals in all competitions. That form paved the way for a return to the EFL in the summer and now, in 16 appearances for the Tractor Boys, Waghorn has netted eight times. Full of confidence, Waghorn will be looking to take his tally into double-figures in front of Sky cameras on Wednesday evening.

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Will the Owls break their Ipswich hoodoo?

Wednesday have beaten Ipswich on just two occasions in the last 16 meetings - a run that stretches back to August 2007 - with just two wins at Portman Road since 1994.

In the last meeting between the pair back in April, Kieran Lee's 77th-minute goal earned the three points for the Owls in East Anglia. Wednesday were pushing for promotion at that point last season, but with neither side being able to string together a particularly stunning run of form of late it remains to been seen which way the result will sway.

Don't miss the Sky Bet Championship clash between Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday night, live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event from 7.30pm

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