Sheffield Wednesday will enter this year’s edition of the FA Cup in the third round, after kicking off at the first stage last season and advancing to the fourth round by beating Morecambe and Mansfield Town and pulling off a memorable upset at home to Newcastle United, only to fall just short in a replay against Fleetwood Town.
The Owls will now kick off their latest bid in the midst of what has been a particularly pleasing run of form under Danny Rohl in the Championship, having climbed within three points of safety at the bottom end of England’s second tier in recent months after sitting on just six points from their opening 17 matches in late November.
Since then, the South Yorkshire outfit have added 16 more points to their tally in just nine further attempts, managing five wins along the way as well as a creditable draw against runaway leaders Leicester City, and they now head into the weekend on the back of consecutive three-point hauls to bounce back from consecutive defeats to Saturday’s opponents and Coventry City either side of Christmas.
Rohl’s men returned to winning ways in a trip to Preston North End, as Marvin Johnson netted the only goal of the game in the first half, before they most recently hosted Hull City on New Year’s Day and recorded a sixth three-
point haul of the campaign and a fifth in the last eight games with Johnson, Djeidi Gassama and Josh Windass having them 3-0 up before they stood strong following Scott Twine’s goal for the visitors 14 minutes from time.
Having quickly reduced what was a major gap to safety to just three points at this stage soon after the halfway point of the campaign, Sheffield Wednesday will certainly be full of renewed confidence, and before returning to
Championship action with the hopes of further boosting their survival hopes, they will be keen to avenge the December defeat and progress past Cardiff City on home turf this weekend.
Their visitors, meanwhile, will set out to make it three victories over the Owls this term and advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 2019-20 season, having fallen short at this stage in their previous three attempts.
In what has been an improved first half to the latest Championship campaign under the new management of Erol Bulut, Cardiff City first met Saturday’s hosts in South Wales in August and prevailed in a 2-1 victory, thanks to Ryan Wintle’s injury-time penalty, before they travelled to Hillsborough for the return fixture before Christmas and made it back-to-back 2-1 triumphs.