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EYE ON THE OPPOSITION | Sheffield Wednesday (A)

28 December 2022

Club News

EYE ON THE OPPOSITION | Sheffield Wednesday (A)

28 December 2022

Vale face perhaps our biggest away day of the season on Thursday evening as we travel up to Yorkshire to face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

The Valiants have not faced off against the Owls at Hillsborough since 2005, and tomorrow’s trip up north is sure to be an exciting one for Darrell Clarke’s men.

Wednesday have had a strong first half to the season, they currently sit third in League One on 46 points, and they also remain unbeaten in the division since October 8th, a run of 11 matches.

The Owls' latest outing was a 2-1 victory away at Fleetwood Town in an action-packed encounter at Highbury Stadium on Boxing Day.

Vale also secured three points on the 26th thanks to a fine strike from Gavin Massey, meaning we now sit 9th in League One on 32 points.

In the reverse fixture back in early October it was the Yorkshire side that came out on top in a tense encounter, with Will Vaulks’ strike from distance the only goal that day.

With over 3,000 Vale fans set to be at Hillsborough, Clarke will hope that his side can return the favour on Thursday evening, and before the two sides face off, here is what you need to know about the Owls.

ONE TO WATCH: Barry Bannan

Sheffield Wednesday’s Scottish maestro in the middle is beloved by the Owls faithful, and he will certainly be one to keep an eye out for in this fixture.

Bannan was made the captain at Wednesday in the 2020/21 season, while he is currently playing in his 8th season in South Yorkshire.

The Scottish international started his career in the Midlands with Premier League side Aston Villa, after some years with his boyhood club Celtic in their academy.

During a five-year period with the Villains, Bannan played a total of 89 times, but the midfielder was also loaned out three times to Derby County, Blackpool, and Leeds United respectively.

In 2013, the Owls captain signed for Villa’s Premier League compatriots Crystal Palace, where he joined up with Ian Holloway with whom he also played under at Blackpool.

Two years and one loan with Bolton Wanderers then followed before the playmaker made the move up north to join up with Wednesday.

South Yorkshire is where the 32-year-old has really flourished, making over 300 appearances for the Owls with over 80 goal involvements in that time.

Last season was perhaps Bannan’s most productive as the midfielder bagged Sheffield Wednesday's Player of the Season award after he scored nine times and bagged 12 assists in 49 appearances.

The Scotsman has lit up the league once again this campaign with four goals and six assists from 21 appearances so far.

Darrell Clarke will be hoping his side can nullify Bannan, which will in turn limit the Yorkshire side's creativity.


In March 2021, Darren Moore was announced as Wednesday’s manager, with the 48-year-old making the short move from fellow Yorkshire side Doncaster Rovers.

Moore has an impressive CV in the game, with the Owls boss making over 650 total career appearances as a centre-back before his move into management.

During his playing days, the man from Birmingham played for the likes of Bradford City, Portsmouth, West Bromwich Albion, Derby County, and Barnsley, amongst a smattering of other teams.

Whilst Moore had a brilliant club career, the former defender also played in the international game, featuring twice for Jamaica.

The 48-year-old moved into management in April 2018, and his first job was a tough one, as he was tasked with trying to save West Brom from Relegation, becoming the first Jamaican manager in Premier League History.

Unfortunately for Moore, he couldn’t quite perform the miracle, but he majorly impressed during that final month of the season, winning the Premier League Manager of the Month for April.

Despite not managing to keep the Baggies up, Moore oversaw the midlands side to an impressive comeback 2-2 draw with Liverpool, an incredible 1-0 away win at Manchester United and an enthralling last-minute win against Tottenham Hotspur.

A tough season then followed with the Baggies, and Moore was sacked in March 2019, but in the summer of the same year, the coach made a return to the dugout with Doncaster Rovers.

During his time with Donny, the Yorkshire side narrowly missed out on Play-Off qualification, and with Rovers sitting in the play-off positions in March of his second season at the club, Moore left for the Owls.

Wednesday’s boss was tasked with keeping the side from Hillsborough in the Championship, but they just missed out and were relegated down to the third tier.

In his first full season, the 48-year-old would lead the Owls to the play-offs, but they would fall short to eventual winners Sunderland in the semi-final after a late Patrick Roberts strike.

After a disappointing defeat in the play-offs, Moore will be happy with how the first half of the campaign has gone for Wednesday as he looks to get them back up to the Championship.

STADIUM: Hillsborough Stadium

One of the most well-known stadiums in English football, Hillsborough has been the home of Sheffield Wednesday since it was opened in 1899.

The ground has been granted permission to expand to over 44,000, with the capacity currently sitting at 39,732, but due to safety reasons, it is capped at 34,854.

Vale haven’t visited the famous ground since 2005, a narrow 1-0 loss, something the Valiants will not want to replicate this time around.


Vale wins: 2

Draws: 0

Wednesday wins: 3

It is the side from Yorkshire that narrowly have the better of the recent record between the two teams, with the Owls winning 3 of our last five fixtures against them.

Our last league victory against Thursday’s opposition was back in 2004, and there is no better time than the present to bag another three points against the Owls.


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