PORT VALE - SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
Wednesday remain a very big club, they are improving year upon year and in the next season or two, seem sure to mount a major promotion push to the EPL. They are unlikely to be involved in the relegation dogfight this season and can afford to take this competition seriously. Francis Jeffers will replace the cup-tied Luke Varney upfront and Brian Laws seem likely to rotate his squad a little, but he will want to build on the momentum gained from an easy 4-0 win over Scunthorpe on saturday, comes looking for the win and selects from what is virtually a fully fit squad.
Vale are a club in a mess both on and off the pitch and have really struggled on home soil in recent seasons, winning just 12 from 48 starts in the league, which is exactly 25% and that is playing teams from their own level, now they meet one from two divisions above and that is what I consider the difference between these two clubs, at least two full divisions.
The home side did cause an upset in the last round, winning at Wednesday's big cross town rivals, that would have caused great amusement in the blue half of Sheffield, but Vale really rode their luck. They were outplayed by the United "b" team, yet their goal led a charmed life and a goalkeeping error finally proved decisive.
Therefore, a win tonight for the Owls will also provide additional bragging rights over United, which cannot be underestimated in this football mad city and I take them to comfortably beat a poor Vale team, who are desperately trying to make some loan signings to strengthen their squad.
Sheffield Wednesday -1/2 ball 1.96 + a little 2.0 around.