New League One leaders Sheffield Wednesday make the journey to the North West take on fellow League One side Fleetwood Town. The winners of the replay will travel to the winners of the replay between Burnley and Ipswich in the 5th Round.
You could be forgiven for thinking the hosts had installed a revolving door at the clubs training ground lately, with many moves transpiring in the final days of the transfer window. Established EFL strikers Jayden Stockley and Jack Marriott joined the club for fees along with defender Corrie Ndaba who joined the club on loan from Ipswich Town. Outgoings included Ged Garner who departed for League Two Barrow, Admiral Muskwe returned to parent club Luton Town and highly rated Paddy Lane joined Portsmouth. Stockley, Marriott and Ndaba all made their debuts in the 3-2 loss at home to Burton Albion on Saturday, with powerhouse Stockley grabbing a goal along with youngster Promise Omochere. The Cod Army are 17th in League One and are anxiously looking over their shoulders, with the likes of MK Dons and Morecambe enjoying minor upturns in form. They sit just two points above the bottom four and are winless in four league games. The new years day victory at Shrewsbury and the Third Round scalp of QPR are their only wins in 2023.
Wednesday however clearly didn’t feel the need to strengthen with Aden Flint joining on loan from Stoke City to cover the loss of influential defender Mark McGuinness, who was recalled by parent club Cardiff City. This was their only recruit in the final days of the window. Darren Moore didn’t seem to see the need to strengthen, with his Owls side unbeaten in 17 league matches, with Saturday’s hard-fought 1-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle meaning they went top of the table overtaking the Pilgrims in the process. Ironically, the last time the Owls lost in the league was in the reverse fixture at Home Park, with Plymouth winning 2-1. Is the FA Cup a welcome distraction or a hindrance for the Owls though?
FLEETWOOD TOWN TEAM NEWS
Don’t expect to see a flood of changes from the Cod Army for this one. A cup run is a welcome distraction from what is likely to be a mid table finish or possibly worse. Jay Lynch is their only recognised first team goalkeeper so expect him to start in goal. Aristotle Nsiala and loanee Corrie Ndaba will likely occupy the central defensive positions. Darnell Johnson remains the clubs only long term absentee. Josh Vela will likely be replaced by Lewis Warrington following his red card on Saturday with Jayden Stockley and Jack Marriott likely to lead the line again. They linked up well at the weekend with Marriott providing the assist for Stockley’s debut goal. Promise Omochere and Carlos Mendes Gomes will be pushing for starts too after coming off the bench and impressing against Burton.
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY TEAM NEWS
The question is will Darren Moore stick or twist for this game? Promotion is definitely at the forefront of his mind – more so than a cup run you would think. One man who has been particularly impressive is goalkeeper Cameron Dawson. He was first called upon in December after replacing the experienced David Stockdale. They have kept 17 clean sheets this season from their 28 league games, with Dawson keeping six clean sheets out of the seven games he has featured in. Defender Akin Famewo will be pushing to play, with boss Darren Moore even admitting before the Plymouth game that he had recovered from injury, but didn’t feature at all in the 18-man squad. Barry Bannan played 86 minutes on Saturday after a recent injury and will still be available for this one if Moore feels it necessary to play who is arguably Wednesday’s star player. Fisayo Dele-Bashiru celebrated his birthday on Monday and will be pushing for a start, as will forwards Lee Gregory and Mallik Wilks.