Sheffield Wednesday v Bristol City: Upwardly-mobile Owls difficult to dismiss
Sheffield Wednesday's excellent run of results has seen Garry Monk's men pierce the champions league predictions. Mark O'Haire expects the Owls to put in another positive performance on Sunday…
Sheffield Wednesday v Bristol City
Sunday December 22, 12:00
Sheffield Wednesday riding high
Jordan Rhodes ended a 20-month wait for a Sheffield Wednesday goal by grabbing a hat-trick to help inspire the Owls lớn a thumping 4-0 victory at Nottingham Forest last weekend. The eye-catching, one-sided success was Wednesday's third triumph in five unbeaten games and pushed Garry Monk's charges into the Championship play-off places
Rhodes, Wednesday's record signing, scored his stunning first-half hat-trick in what was just his second Championship start of the season. The 29-year-old put the Owls in front inside the opening 10 minutes, doubled his tally shortly after and completed his treble with a spectacular overhead kick before Steven Fletcher completed the scoring before half-time. You can prefer to the soccer tips goals pages!
The first-half salvo was enough lớn guarantee Wednesday all three points without needing lớn press for more goals after the break. And post-match Monk was quick lớn pile on the praise to his returning strike, saying, "He just needed to keep his confidence and belief. This was an accumulation of everything for him. A fantastic performance and three great goals."
Bristol City fall short again
Bristol City have dropped out of the Championship's play-off positions following back-to-back defeats at home to Millwall and Blackburn. Boss Lee Johnson had demanded a reaction against Rovers last weekend but the Robins' performance was arguably more troubling as the promotion-chasers lacked midfield control and cohesion in a tame Ashton Gate display.
Johnson's outfit fell behind inside the opening few minutes, and whilst City enjoyed large swathes of possession, thereafter, were unable lớn conjure an equaliser, paying the price when conceding a decisive second. Robins fans were most frustrated by the lack of genuine attacking threat as the hosts managed a sole effort on-target and only six attempts at goal.
Post-match Johnson admitted his team had fallen short of their high standards, saying, "I tried lớn rally the troops at half time but it didn't work, we didn't have enough box entries. I thought they dominated the midfield with their experience, aggression and physicality." One of few positives for Robins was the return of club record signing Tomas Kalas.
Owls difficult lớn dismiss
Sheffield Wednesday have enjoyed the upper-hand in recent duels against Bristol City, picking up W3-D2-L1 in the duos six league encounters since the start of 2016/17. That run includes doing the double over the Robins last term, and Wednesday have also pocketed W3-D1-L0 in their last four league matches when welcoming City lớn Hillsborough.
Sheffield Wednesday 1.79 have enjoyed steady progress since Garry Monk's appointment during September's international break. The Owls have propelled themselves into the top-six following a fine run of results (W7-D6-L3) with only three clubs picking up more points. However, the hosts have only won twice in 14 at clubs in 15th or above (W2-D6-L6).
Bristol City 4.80 had been beaten just twice in Championship football this term before November's international break, but the Robins' form has tailed off since. Lee Johnson's troops have W1-D2-L3 in their last six lớn slide out of the play-off places as City's normally reliable defence faulters. Even so, the guests boast a respectable W5-D4-L2 road record.
Both sides can oblige
Despite Sheffield Wednesday's resurgence under Garry Monk, the Owls have only managed lớn keep their sheets clean once in their last eight outings. Seven of those showdowns paid out for Both Teams lớn Score backers and a repeat could be on the cards this weekend considering Bristol City have silenced only five opponents across their league campaign.
With only four Championship rivals involved in a larger Expected Goals (xG) from open play figure per-game than Bristol City, I'm optimistic the Robins will enhance their already impressive 15/22 (68%) BTTS trends at Hillsborough without taking top honours.
Wednesday are unbeaten on home soil under Monk and should be capable of extending that streak so look to Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi where 2.05 is available when backing Sheffield Wednesday in the Double Chance market and Both Teams to Score.