Sheffield Wednesday: Owls hope rivals slip up

Safety campaign: Michail Antonio says the Owls have clicked
Safety campaign: Michail Antonio says the Owls have clicked

MICHAIL Antonio is backing the Owls to stay up - but this weekend could provide a reminder of how tight the Championship table is.

If Wolves and Ipswich win then they will overtake Wednesday and leave them only one place off the bottom three.

Wolves, two points behind Dave Jones’ side, tomorrow face an away clash with Derby, so Wednesday will hope that the Rams’ good home form holds up, after they earned a 2-2 draw at Hillsborough last week, and the Molineux outfit extend a run of nine games without a win.

Ipswich, behind the Owls on goal difference, have home advantage against Blackpool; the Tractor Boys have won only one of their last eight games but their 4-0 thumping of Middlesbrough a fortnight ago was one of those many Championship results this season which have illustrated how unpredictable the division can be.

Not many people would back next-to-bottom Bristol City, who are five points behind Wednesday, to win at Cardiff tomorrow. But bottom club Peterborough did just that in another shock result, in mid-December.

However, that was the leaders’ last defeat, and there must be a good chance of lighting not striking twice.

Peterborough, like Wednesday, have no league game on FA Cup weekend.

The Owls will hope that two teams who are within two points above them, Birmingham and Bolton, move no further ahead.

Blues are at home to high-flying Watford, Wanderers away to Forest.

Huddersfield are a point above Wednesday but will be at home to Wigan in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Tomorrow’s other Championship games are second-placed Hull v 15th-placed Charlton and the fifth v sixth clash between Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough at Selhurst Park.

Antonio says: “I definitely think we can stay up. With the run we are on now, unbeaten in five games, we can’t doubt ourselves.

“It’s very tight. At the beginning we were doing badly; we have picked up; teams below us have been picking up points as well, but teams above us have been losing, and by us winning we have been drawing them closer to us.

“At the start of the season we found it difficult to adjust to the Championship. We have the players. We weren’t gelling in a Championship way. Now we have clicked.”