Vale are back home this weekend as they prepare to face Sheffield Wednesday in Sky Bet League One.
This weekend’s visitors have started the season well, and they currently sit in fourth position on 20 points, just two points off the top.
Vale are on 12 points after 10 games, meaning they are in 15th position in the table, but it is very tight in the league, and if the Valiants grab a win this weekend, they will climb many positions up the table.
This is the first clash between the sides in 13 years, so before the two face-off this weekend, here is some pre-match reading.
The view from Darrell Clarke:
Clarke explained: “In every game we have a different game plan but there are consistencies within that, obviously.
“We respect Sheffield Wednesday as a club; they have a great manager and when I looked at it the other day, I think nine of their starting XI against Wycombe [Wednesday’s last league fixture] had won promotion out of the Championship or League One.
“So, they are an experienced team and know what it takes to be successful.”
Opposition’s Boss thoughts:
"I think League One is stronger this year,” said Owls’ boss Darren Moore
"With the players that are in this league, international players, some have played in the Premier League, that's why I don't take any game for granted in this league.
“There are different strengths and weaknesses to Port Vale which we have to deal with. We have to implement our own game.
“They are very strong at home. They are really good in how Darrell [Clarke] sets them up. They were successful last season.”
Carabao Cup Round 2, Vale Park, Tuesday 25th August 2009: Port Vale 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday
This week we travel back to the last time we faced the Owls, and for the Vale faithful it was a memorable match as the Valiants came out 2-0 winners in the League Cup second-round fixture.
Two second-half goals within two minutes secured the victory for the home side after Francis Jeffers saw red for the visitors in the first half after a vicious headbutt.
The goals came from a pair of Taylor’s, Kris, and Robert in the 63rd and 65th minute respectively, and those were the goals that downed the Championship outfit.
Jeffers made the task harder for Wednesday just before the break when a moment of madness saw him sent his marching orders for a headbutt on Tommy Fraser.
Vale made the advantage of an extra player count after 63 minutes when K. Taylor decided to have a strike from distance, which he ferociously smashed into the top corner sending Vale Park wild.
Moments later, the Vale faithful were able to go crazy once again after R. Taylor hooked home from a wicked cross from the righthand side.
There were many other chances for Vale in the second half, as the game was very open due to the first-half red card, but the two goals were enough for the home side to claim a huge scalp in the cup.
If the Valiants manage to muster the same performance as their predecessors on Saturday, we will be in for an enjoyable game.
Port Vale | Martin, McCombe, Yates, Collins, Owen, Taylor, Loft (77’ Griffith), Fraser, Taylor, Richards (86’ Horsefield), Dodds (81’ Jorgenson)
Unused subs | Lloyd-Weston, Stockley, McCrory
Sheffield Wednesday | Grant, Spur, Hinds, Beevers, Simek, Miller (70’ O’Connor), McAllister (46’ A Sodje), Esajas (46’ Johnson), Potter, Tudgay, Jeffers
Unused subs | O’Donnell, Buxton, Purse, Wood
Last Time Out (League):
Sky Bet League One, Hillsborough Stadium, Saturday 24th September 2022: Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Wycombe Wanderers
The Owls returned to winning ways last Saturday as they brushed aside a stubborn Wycombe Wanderers to stay in the play-off places.
A first-minute own goal from Joe Jacobsen and goals from Barry Bannan and Calum Paterson sealed the deal for Wednesday, despite Sam Vokes' early equaliser.
The home side were sent well on their way inside the first 60 seconds when Jacobsen turned into his own net from a Marvin Johnson low cross.
However, the visitors came back into the contest inside the first 10 minutes through Sam Vokes, who fired into the back of the net from inside the box after Anis Mehmeti drove a cross in from the byline.
Wednesday took 22 minutes to respond, but respond they did, taking the lead when Bannan fired in at the far post after Michael Smith sent a low cross into the captain from the right.
Substitute Paterson then sealed the three points in stoppage time of the second period on his 100th appearance for the Owls, with his first touch of the match, slotting home from Mallik Wilks' through ball.
The visitors nearly responded straight away after the opening goal, forcing David Stockdale to produce a brilliant save from Dominic Gape’s shot from the edge of the area.
Wednesday had a series of brilliant chances in the first half, and before they netted their second, Will Vaulks produced a wonderful effort that was tipped just over the bar fabulously by Max Stryjek.
They did then get their second, but they could have piled more misery on the away side before the break if it wasn’t for Stryjek, who saved well from Josh Windass’ effort after a good one-two with goal scorer Bannan.
Dominance from the Owls continued after the interval with Wanderers’ Stryjek called into action a number of times, including when he had to make smart stops from Vaulks and Lee Gregory to keep the score at 2-1.
The hosts did get their third and got the win to send them into this week’s clash with Vale in winning form, but Darrell Clarke’s side will be looking to change that on Saturday.
Owls’ Team news:
George Byers will be missing for the visitors this weekend, whilst Marc McGuinness will also be out as this match just comes too soon for the both of them.
Bannan did pick up a knock last week, but it looks like he will be fit and ready to face Vale on Saturday.
03/08/22: Sheffield Wednesday 0-2 Barnsley, Sky Bet League One
13/09/22: Morecambe 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday, Sky Bet League One
17/09/22: Sheffield Wednesday 2-2 Ipswich Town, Sky Bet League One
20/09/22: Sheffield Wednesday 2-3 Burton Albion, Papa John’s Trophy
24/09/22: Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Wycombe Wanderers, Sky Bet League One