Newcastle will be forced into a a notable change as key creative midfielder Shelvey starts a five-game ban. He will certainly be missed, although Newcastle have a very strong squad with plenty of depth. He’ll be replaced by the more defensive Anita, unless Colback is fit, which is unlikely. Gouffran will also come back after being rested to the bench against Burton Albion, adding a goal threat. There is no doubt that Newcastle will approach this game looking to win. Confidence is terrifically high so there is no reason other than to do so. A win would prolong their stay at the top of the table for another week. Only a victory will be tolerated as every time they drop points it feels as though it is a shock result. Missing Shelvey is a blow, but it is a good test to see if they can cope.
Sheffield Wednesday have many injury concerns heading into this game. It is quite likely that right back Hunt and midfielder Bannan, both regular starters, will be fit to play. Lee should be fine as well although he remains a doubt as well with some other unnamed players. They’ll return to a 4-4-1-1 system thanks to the return of star man Forestieri following a ban. The team are stronger with him. Carlos Carvalhal will certainly believe his team are capable of causing an upset but he’d be delighted to see them pick up a point as well. He has already admitted this will be their toughest game of the season. Having many injury concerns isn’t helping preparations and that could effect their tactical outlay. They’ll still look to press and be compact, whilst retaining a threat in attack.
Verdict & Prediction
Newcastle continue to prolong their stay at the top of the Championship. It is now three straight victories, but they face a significant test in Sheffield Wednesday. This should still bring the best out of the team in terms of motivation and believing in themselves to make it four wins in a row.
Prediction: Newcastle -0.75 AH
Odds: 2.03 Pinnacle