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First Team

Opposition View: Sheffield Wednesday

The Sheffield Star's Chris Holt on what we can expect at Hillsborough tomorrow

12 September 2017

After last season’s fourth place finish, I would imagine everyone will have expected more from the start of this – can you sum up the first month?

I think the fans have been a bit disappointed so far as they were hoping for the team to kick on and move up a level to be challenging for a top two place from the start. That’s not going to happen, but I think there was hope that they’d have a few more wins on the board by now.

There wasn’t much movement from the club in the transfer window this summer, so would you say that’s had any effect?

I wouldn’t say there was much business that needed doing really; they were short in central defence so the club have brought in Frederico Venancio and Joost Van Aken - these were two very important deals for the club. Midfielder Jacob Butterfield has just signed so we haven’t yet seen what he’s going to bring but again, it was an important addition as there have been a few injury problems in midfield. Kieran Lee was out a lot last season and Dan Hutchinson has been in and out of the team, so there was a realisation that backup in the middle was required. We haven’t seen the best of George Boyd yet either – he played a lot for Burnley in the Premier League last season and seems to still being finding his feet and adapting to the way Wednesday play.

Former Brentford loanee Jordan Rhodes made his loan move permanent in July – has he shown any signs of recapturing his prolific form of old?

No, not yet it must be said. The criticism would come from how the team play more than anything else and there’s a belief that the team don’t play to his strengths meaning he hasn’t been able to score as many goals as he had done previously at Huddersfield and Blackburn. He’s playing second fiddle to Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper who’ve struck up a really good partnership meaning its up to Jordan to force his way in. As I said, it hasn’t really been his fault as Wednesday aren’t playing the way he needs to play; he needs to have the ball coming into the box early as he’s a poacher, but the club have a very patient, intricate approach and above all, that’s really why he hasn’t been as fruitful as he has been at other clubs.

How does Carlos Carvahal set up his side at home and who should Brentford be most wary of?

They tend to have two different approaches so whenever they play away, they are a little more cautious and play a 4-4-2, but they’ve been playing a diamond formation at home, which is a lot more attacking. For individual players, Barry Bannan has been the main man this season, but from an attacking point of view, Gary Hooper would be the player Brentford need to look out for. He holds the ball up well and just seems to take defenders completely out of the game and free up more space for other players; he’s also went into the international break in excellent form.

What are you expecting from Brentford on Tuesday evening?

Looking back over last season, Brentford gave Wednesday a couple of really good games and beat them at Hillsborough in the second half of the season. Despite the fact Brentford have had a patchy start to the season, Wednesday fans will be thankful Jota has left now and there will certainly be no complacency, knowing how difficult the two games were last year.

Finally, can I get a score prediction from you?

Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Brentford

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