Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa preview
Last Updated: 23/02/18 11:18am
Sheffield Wednesday defender Jordan Thorniley will miss Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Aston Villa after being knocked unconscious in midweek.
Thorniley was treated on the pitch for 13 minutes and then carried off on a stretcher during Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat at Millwall after being hurt as he tried to prevent Steve Morison's winning goal, and will sit out under the concussion protocol.
However, striker Jordan Rhodes is back in training and may return to the squad after being sidelined by illness, and he could be joined by defender Tom Lees, who has played twice for the club's Under-23s following his recovery from a groin injury.
Frontman Marco Matias did not make the 18 at Millwall after completing a three-match ban and will hope to be included this time around, but Keiren Westwood (groin surgery) and Sam Hutchinson (hernia) are still out.
Key Villa duo Jack Grealish and Albert Adomah remain doubts after missing the last two games. Grealish has a calf problem and Adomah a hamstring injury, and the pair will be assessed before manager Steve Bruce names his team.
Fellow midfielder Robert Snodgrass failed to re-appear for the second half of Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Preston after being taken ill, but is expected to be available, while Ahmed Elmohamady was used as a late substitute after limping out of Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Fulham. Andre Green (hamstring), Jonathan Kodjia (ankle) and Jed Steer (shoulder) are all out.
The last three league meetings between the teams at Hillsborough have ended 1-0, with Villa winning twice and Wednesday once in the most recent match on the opening day of last season.
Villa haven't lost twice in a league season against the Owls since the 1996/97 campaign in the Premier League.
After winning 11 points from their first 18 available at home this season (W3 D2 L1), the Owls have won just 10 from a possible 30 at Hillsborough (W2 D4 L4).
All six of Aston Villa's away defeats this season have seen them concede at least twice; they've not lost any of their 10 on the road in which they've shipped fewer than two goals.
Sheffield Wednesday have scored just five goals in their last nine Championship games since the end of the December - as many as they've managed in just three FA Cup ties in the same period.
Aston Villa have won 17 of their 33 Championship games this season - already one more than they won in the whole of 2016-17.
It shows how quickly things can change in the Championship that Aston Villa have gone from favourites for second place to four points off Cardiff in the space of a few days.
Sheffield Wednesday got a fantastic win at Villa Park in the reverse fixture but they've changed managers since and their form has stuttered badly. It's a tough game to call but I fancy Villa to edge it.
David Prutton predicts: 0-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)