SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY have spent the past two months in the top 10 of the Championship and yet a place among the play-off spots has proved frustratingly elusive.
Tonight, however, could see that change as Carlos Carvalhal takes his Owls side to struggling Milton Keynes Dons while the two teams directly above the Yorkshire club both have tough games.
Sixth-placed Ipswich Town are a point ahead of the Owls and travel to Fulham, while Ipswich Town – level on points with Wednesday – are at home to much-improved Brentford.
With little separating all three clubs in terms of goal difference, victory at stadium:mk could provide that morale-boosting lift into the top six ahead of the busy festive period.
Not, though, that Carvalhal is taking the Dons lightly as his men chase what would be only their second victory in seven league outings.
“We will be 100 per cent ready for the game,” said the Portuguese. “We know it will be difficult. There are no easy games in the Championship. But we are confident as we are playing well.”
The Owls are boosted by Sam Hutchinson, Kieran Lee and Jack Hunt all having shaken off injury niggles sufficiently to travel.
Michael Turner is also hoping to be involved after impressing on his own return last weekend from a two-month injury absence.
It would be only his seventh start, but Turner has already seen enough to be keen on a permanent move if the chance arose.
“I would do,” he said yesterday when asked about possibly extending his stay at Hillsborough.
Last six games: MK Dons WLDDLL, Sheffield Wednesday LWDLDD.
Referee: D Deadman (Cambridgeshire).
Last time: MK Dons 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0; January 15, 2013; FA Cup.