Managerless Sheffield Wednesday will be hoping to emulate their recent fine form when they take on Rochdale on Saturday. Since the sacking of Dave Jones at the start of December, the Owls have won five and drawn four of their 11 games.
Although the Championship side are flirting with demotion, sitting just 2 points clear of the relegation zone, 2014 has started well. As well as despatching Leeds United 6-0, they also won their FA Cup third round match 4-1. In all competitions, their goal difference on the month is 11. Rochdale lie second in League Two, still vying for automatic promotion next season. The side’s recent home form has been strong, winning their last four games. This will be the first time in 11 years that Rochdale have made the fourth round of the FA Cup, and they will have confidence they can make the fifth round, having already seen off a Championship side to set up the tie with Sheffield Wednesday.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3.00pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Rochdale 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0, League One, March 2012
Sheffield Wednesday 2 (Jones, Prutton) Rochdale 0, League One, August 2011
Rochdale 2 (Done, Jones) Sheffield Wednesday 1 (Madine), League One, February 2011
The Owls have kept five clean sheets in their six previous competitive meetings with Rochdale (W4 D1 L1).
This is only Rochdale’s fourth appearance in the FA Cup fourth round and their first since 2002/03. They have won their last two ties at this stage, however.
Wednesday have only lost one of their last 12 FA Cup games against sides from lower divisions. However, Sheffield have never won at Spotland in major competition (D1 L1).
Wednesday have only made the fifth round once since relegation from the Premier League in 1999/00 (2010/11, when they beat Hereford 4-1 at this stage).
Rochdale to win: 3.2
Sheffield Wednesday to win: 2.2
TV: Highlights on ITV 1 at 10:45pm.