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Antonio injury a huge blow to Sheffield Wednesday survival hopes

| 19.03.2013

If you were to ask Sheffield Wednesday fans which player was most crucial to their end-of-season relegation run-in, there is a good chance a majority percentage would reply Michail Antonio.

So the fact that the physically imposing winger has been ruled out for the rest of the season makes the 9/4 price about Wednesday falling through the Championship trapdoor look attention-worthy.

Antonio has top-scored with nine seasonal goals for the Owls, who did well to hold on to the wide-man amidst much Premier League interest in January.

He has contributed the same number of assists also, meaning he has had direct involvement in only slightly less than half of the Yorkshire outfit’s 41 league strikes this term.

And with a groin problem now scuppering the 22-year-old’s chances of appearing again this season, Wednesday’s reliance on the player could very feasibly be highlighted.

Another problem for the Hillsborough side is that their next top scorer, Chris O’Grady, is currently on loan at fellow strugglers Barnsley, who are Dave Jones’ side’s next league opponents.

Although O’Grady will be ineligible for that bout, Wednesday will head into it with two central defenders as their five-goal top scorers, which is a worrying proposition.

Also troubling for the division’s fourth-bottom team is the fact that they will enter the game devoid of confidence, on the back of three defeats in their last four.

As such, their odds to be relegated have tumbled to 9/4, when 9/2 was available only a matter of weeks ago, and the nature of their upcoming fixtures means this price still makes much appeal.

The Owls are still to meet six of the Championship’s bottom eight clubs, with their record against lower-half opposition this season reading less than impressively.

Wednesday have failed to win at least two-thirds of their clashes against bottom-12 outfits, and have won only once at home to any of the three clubs occupying the division’s relegation zone this term.

And so with all things considered, 9/4 appears a tempting price regarding Jones’ men suffering relegation this season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



John Klee