BRISTOL CITY host Sheffield Wednesday in the early Championship kick-off on Sunday. James Cantrill (@) shares his thoughts on the showdown.
Bristol City vs Sheffield Wednesday | Sunday 28th June 2020, 12:00 | Sky Sports
Lee Johnson will be sleeping a little easier than Garry Monk these days as his Bristol City side sit just three points off the play-offs, well in contention. Monk's Owls outfit, on the other hand, have only won one of their last 11 league games, form that now means Wednesday staring into the mid-table abyss.
Sheffield Wednesday’s season could go from bad to worse too. The EFL are investing the possibility that the Owls breached financial fair play rules, and if found guilty, they could be deducted up to 12 points. This would drop Monk's men to the foot of the table embroiling them into a relegation battle, a possibility that looms large over Hillsborough…
However, the Owls didn’t look like a side shouldering all these concerns in their return to domestic action versus Nottingham Forest last Saturday. Wednesday found themselves undeservedly 1-0 down despite looking the better side. Monk opted for a more offensive approach, playing 3-5-2, which finally paid dividends late on as Connor Wickham rescued a point. Monk is presumed to emulate this approach on Sunday.
Bristol City did not appear to be showing any signs of rust as they scored early against fellow play-off hopefuls Blackburn last Saturday. The Robins took the lead via Jamie Paterson on the 34th minute, however, capitulation soon followed as they conceded three goals and left Ewood Park empty-handed.
Wednesday most cards and corners
Monk opted for an extra man up front and a man less at the back in his previous game against Sheff Wed as he looked to be more offensively adventurous. They looked to exploit the extra bodies in midfield and up top by getting crosses into the box. This is best reflected by the fact that they attempted 40 crosses, almost twice the amount that they’ve averaged this season (21.7). They also had seven corners, an increase from their average of 5.21 per-game.
Bristol City only had one corner against Blackburn and, on average, they concede (6.53) more then they win (4.61) per-game. In fact, only Luton and Charlton have conceded more corners per-game on average this season than the Robins.
The quantity of corners hinges as much on tactics as it does game state. The Owls have only been leading at half-time twice in their last 11 league games. Of their 15 league defeats, they’ve failed to score in 67%. This all suggests that Sheff Wed are the more likely of the sides to be chasing the game and therefore accumulate more corners.
In terms of cards, the Owls rank fourth for yellows in the Championship this term (78) and have the most red cards (5). Bristol City's disciplinary record is a lot better; they’ve accumulated the sixth-fewest yellow cards (58) and only received two reds.
Wednesday also commit the most fouls in the league (587) and draw the second least (287). The Owls average 2.16 yellow cards per-away game, which is amongst the most in the league. All of which suggests that Sheffield Wednesday should receive more yellows on Sunday.
The referee for this one is John Brooks who’s averaged 3.65 cards in the Championship this season. Interestingly though, he’s awarded an average 3.67 cards to Wednesday players alone. In three games he’s refereed the Owls in 2019/20, Wednesday have received the most cards in all three.
Brooks took charge of City on two occasions and in both encounters the Robins have received the fewest bookings. In fact, Wednesday rank second most in terms of yellow cards awarded by Brooks per-game (3.67) and Bristol City rank second lowest, averaging just a solitary card. He’s given the Owls 11 cards in total and City have only received two.
Therefore, Sheffield Wednesday to receive the Most Cards and win the Most Corners (16/5 Unibet) is my preferred play from Ashton Gate.
Bristol City vs Sheffield Wednesday – Sheffield Wednesday Most Cards and Most Corners (16/5 Unibet)