Sheffield Wednesday vs Aston Villa preview
Last Updated: 05/04/19 12:28pm
Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce hopes to have Steven Fletcher available for their Championship clash against Aston Villa.
The forward did not take part in Scotland's recent internationals due to ankle and knee issues and sat out his club's 0-0 draw with Stoke last weekend.
Bruce, however, could still be without Rolando Aarons for the visit of the Villains. Aarons, who also missed out against Stoke, is rated as a "minor doubt" as he recovers from injury.
Lovre Kalinic is set to be included in Villa's squad for their trip to Hillsborough. The goalkeeper has been unavailable after sustaining a knee problem on international duty for Croatia.
Midfielder Tom Carroll has returned to parent club Swansea to begin rehabilitation on a hip issue. James Chester (knee), Tommy Elphick (foot) and Alan Hutton (knee) are all closing in on first-team returns following their respective injuries.
Sheffield Wednesday have lost four of their last five home league matches against Aston Villa, winning the other in August 2016.
Aston Villa haven't won consecutive league games against Sheffield Wednesday since January 1997.
Sheffield Wednesday are unbeaten in 12 league matches (W6 D6 L0), their best run since August 2012 (17 matches).
Steve Bruce - who managed and lost in this fixture earlier this season as Aston Villa manager - could become the first manager to lose a Football League fixture in charge of both teams in a single season since Paul Cook during 2012-13, who lost as manager of both Accrington and Chesterfield in that League Two fixture.
Since Steve Bruce's first Championship match in charge of Sheffield Wednesday on February 2nd, Barry Bannan has registered five assists - the joint-most in the division along with Kamil Grosicki.
Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has been involved in five goals in his last three Championship appearances (3 goals, 2 assists).
Steve Bruce will be right up for this, as he prepares to face Aston Villa for the first time since his departure from the club last year.
Sheffield Wednesday have plenty more at stake as they are still within reach of the top six, but Villa are bang in form at the minute. I have a feeling, however, that the Owls will get a draw.
David Prutton predicts: 2-2 (12/1 with Sky Bet)