League Two side Exeter City and EFL Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday meet in an FA Cup third-round encounter on Saturday.
Exeter are currently in 10th position in League Two, but have lost just four times this season. Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday have pulled themselves out of the Championship’s drop zone with a strong run.
Exeter will be hoping to pull off an upset against their more famous opponents this weekend.
Exeter City vs Sheffield Wednesday Head-to-Head
Exeter City have been doing relatively well this season. They’ve won eight of their opening 19 games while losing just four. If they win their games in hand, Exeter could move up to fourth in the League Two table.
Those games in hand are due to three of Exeter’s recent fixtures being called off. Matches against Newport County and Barrow were scrapped due to issues with the pitch. Their meeting with Stevenage on 19 December fell through after their opponents registered too many positive COVID-19 cases.
Exeter have beaten AFC Fylde and Gillingham to make it this far in the FA Cup, while their most recent game was a draw with Forest Green Rovers.
Sheffield Wednesday, meanwhile, started their Championship campaign at a major disadvantage versus their rivals. Financial irregularities meant that they were deducted 12 points at the commencement of the 2020-21 campaign.
However, a recent run of three wins and a draw has elevated them to 21st place in the EFL Championship, just outside the relegation zone. Their most recent match saw them defeat fellow strugglers Derby County 1-0.
The last meeting between Exeter City and Sheffield Wednesday came way back in 2012 in a League One match. Exeter came out on top in that match, winning 2-1.
Exeter City form guide: L-L-W-L-D
Sheffield Wednesday form guide: L-W-D-W-W
Exeter City vs Sheffield Wednesday Team News
Exeter will be without centre-back Rory McArdle for this game, as he remains out with a long-term knee issue. No other injury issues have been reported prior to this game.
Injured: Rory McArdle
Sheffield Wednesday are in the midst of a COVID-19 scare, with their training ground reportedly closed earlier this week. However, there were no positive tests confirmed among players at the club.
Outside of that, goalkeeper Kieren Westwood, defenders Chey Dunkley and Julian Borner, and midfielders Massimo Luongo and Josh Windass will miss this game due to injury. Dominic Iorfa has been ruled out for the season, while Joost van Aken is in doubt due to a groin injury.
Injured: Chey Dunkley, Kieren Westwood, Julian Borner, Massimo Luongo, Josh Windass, Dominic Iorfa
Doubtful: Joost van Aken
Exeter City vs Sheffield Wednesday Predicted XI
Exeter City predicted XI (4-4-2): Jon Maxted, Pierce Sweeney, Tom Parkes, Alex Hartridge, Jack Sparkes, Randell Williams, Jake Taylor, Archie Collins, Joel Randall, Ryan Bowman, Matt Jay
Exeter City vs Sheffield Wednesday Prediction
A handful of weeks ago, this would’ve been the kind of match that could have ended in an upset. Sheffield Wednesday were in the midst of a horrible run of form, and could well have been ripe for the taking.
However, despite boss Tony Pulis being relieved of his duties at the end of December, the Owls have seen an upturn in form. On the back of a four-game unbeaten run, they should come into this match with confidence.
On paper, Sheffield Wednesday definitely have what it takes to see their way into the fourth round.
Prediction: Exeter City 1-2 Sheffield WednesdayPublished 07 Jan 2021, 22:03 IST