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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Wednesday can dent Cardiff's promotion ambitions

Owls look re-energised under new boss Jos Luhukay

Sheffield Wednesday celebrate holding rivals Sheffield United to a goalless draw
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Sheffield Wednesday performed well in the first game under new manager Jos Luhukay, drawing 0-0 at Sheffield United, and can damage another promotion-chasing team's ambitions by beating Cardiff at Hillsborough.

The Owls' injury problems have been well-documented.

They were missing several senior players at Bramall Lane and their problems increased when centre-back Glenn Loovens was sent off in the 64th minute.

Despite the adversity they put in a very good performance - sharing the shot count 12 to 12 against strong opponents, who had an extra man for half an hour.

Wednesday followed up with a 2-0 success at home to Carlisle in Tuesday's FA Cup third-round replay, continuing the good start for Luhukay, who has clearly got the players fully behind him.

The new manager would love to get a victory in his first Sky Bet Championship home game to really get the fans onside and has a decent chance against third-placed Cardiff, who have lost their last two away league games, 2-0 at Bolton and 2-1 at QPR.

The Bluebirds suffered four straight defeats over the holiday period before getting back to winning ways with a 4-0 triumph at home to struggling Sunderland last Saturday.

Cardiff were also 4-1 winners away to Mansfield in an FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday, setting up a high-profile fourth-round tie at home to Manchester City.

But there is a danger that the City tie could become a distraction from the far more important business of staying in touch with the race for automatic promotion.

Neil Warnock selected a strong team in midweek, no doubt encouraged by the incentive of playing City, but they could pay the price against a Wednesday side who look re-energised by their new manager.

Sheffield Wednesday
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Team news
Sheffield Wednesday
New signing Joey Pelupessy goes straight into the squad. Glenn Loovens is available after a ban and Keiren Westwood (rib), Gary Hooper, Barry Bannan, Jack Hunt (all hip) and Sam Hutchinson (knee) are injured.

Lee Peltier, Matt Connolly, Aron Gunnarsson and Danny Ward are sidelined but Marko Grujic is in contention after signing on loan from Liverpool.

Key stat
Cardiff have not kept a clean sheet in their last four away games.

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Cardiff have not kept a clean sheet in their last four away games
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