Sheffield Wednesday: It’s all to play for

Hit and miss: Chris O'Grady scored Owls' winner at Oakwell but can't play for the Reds on Saturday.
Hit and miss: Chris O'Grady scored Owls' winner at Oakwell but can't play for the Reds on Saturday.

THE teams in The Championship have had a break and return this week refreshed and ready for the run-in.

They will want to hit the ground running for this decisive phase of the season and Sheffield Wednesday followers will certainly hope their side do so considering the opening two fixtures on their return.

It’s Barnsley in the big South Yorkshire derby on Saturday then off to bottom-side Bristol City on Easter Monday - two fixtures which will surely have a big bearing on who is going to stay up or go down.

They follow those two up at home to troubled Blackburn Rovers who are still in danger and looking over their shoulder. Then it’s three successive away games for Wednesday including a midweek trip to Millwall. And they’ve still to go to Peterbro’ which is the final away game.

Barnsley arrive at Hillsborough also seeking revenge for the defeat to the Owls back in December - and Wednesday had lost seven on the trot in the lead-up to that game.

Chris O’Grady got Wednesday’s winner that day but now, of course, is on loan at Barnsley and won’t be allowed to play on Saturday.

After Saturday’s derby clash, Barnsley have a really stiff looking trio - Leicester at home on Easter Monday, then Crystal Palace and Cardiff away.

With two of the promotion chasers still to play as well, revitalised Forest and Steve Bruce’s consistent Hull City, it is a run-in as stiff as any at the bottom.

It may be reckoned that as many as 10 teams could still be considered a potential relegation candidates not least because it looks like being a ‘high’ season for safety in terms of the points required.

Last season Barnsley finished fourth bottom on 48pts but survived because third-bottom Portsmouth, on 40, had had ten points deducted.

Huddersfield, ninth bottom, have still to play Peterbro’, Wolves, Bristol City and Barnsley (in the final game) as well as Blackburn.

It’s always interesting to catch up with the remaining fixtures, of who-goes-where and when. Below are those of the bottom five clubs.

The final games in The Championship on Saturday, May 4, will all kick off at 12.45.

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY:

Mar 30: Barnsley (H)

Apr 1: Bristol City (A)

Apr 6: Blackburn (H)

Apr 9: Millwall (A)

Apr 13: Leeds (A) 12.30

Apr 16: Blackpool (A)

Apr 20: Ipswich (H)

Apr 27: Peterbro’ (A)

May 4: Middlesbro’ (H)

BARNSLEY:

Mar 30: Wednesday (A)

Apr 1: Leicester (H)

Apr 6: Palace (A)

Apr 9: Cardiff (A)

Apr 13: Charlton (H)

Apr 16: Derby (H)

Apr 20: Forest (A)

Apr 27: Hull City (H)

May 4: Huddersfield (A)

BRISTOL CITY:

Mar 29: Derby (A) 7.45

Apr 1: Wednesday (H)

Apr 6: Burnley (A)

Apr 13: Bolton (H)

Apr 16: Birmingham (H)

Apr 19: Hull City (A)

Apr 27: Huddersfield (H)

May 4: Charlton (A)

WOLVES:

Mar 30: Middlesbro (H)

Apr 1: Birmingham (A)

Apr 6: Bolton (A)

Apr 13: Huddersfield (H)

Apr 16: Hull City (H)

Apr 20: Charlton (A)

Apr 27: Burnley (H)

May 4: Brighton (A)

PETERBOROUGH:

Mar 30: Cardiff (H)

Apr 2: Middlesbro’ (A)

Apr 6: Huddersfield (A)

Apr 13: Watford (H)

Apr 16: Brighton (H)

Apr 20: Derby County (A)

Apr 27: Wednesday (H)

May 4: Palace (A)