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Sheffield Wednesday vs Fulham Preview: Three questions with Owls Alive

Owls Alive stops by to help us preview this match.

Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

There was a chance this was the last three questions for the year. Thankfully it’s not. Let’s hope we have two more instances of this at least!

Cottagers Confidential: Are Fulham the side that scare you most in the playoffs? Given that losing on Sunday is the only way you can make sure you don't face them, is a part of you actually hoping for a loss?

Owls Alive: Fulham have been in great form in 2017. I certainly think that you have the most balanced squad, ahead of Reading FC and Huddersfield Town.

Despite our excellent winning run, we have developed an untimely knack of conceding sloppy goals: something which Fulham are best placed to punish.

I hope all four sides draw on Sunday. Most importantly I want Wednesday to enjoy a home second leg. Huddersfield are my preferred opponents: we've beaten them to-nil in both meetings this season.

CC: What is Sheffield Wednesday’s style? You have a stout defense and don't score all that much, but you don't seem to be a bunker and counter team. You do score a lot of set pieces and appear to favor the short pass. If you had to sum them up, what would you say?

OA: Carvalhal utilises a pretty fluid 4-4-2 with high full backs and an anchoring midfielder. We tend to enjoy the bulk of possession, choosing to retain the ball rather than quickly moving forward.

Our defence has been excellent for three years now: we've equalled the club record for clean sheets over a season in 2014/15 and 2015/16, and can do so again with another shutout on Sunday.

We tend to keep things tight in the first half and utilise our raft of technical, bright players in the second. Changes to a narrow shape and/or throwing extra forwards at opponents have turned draws into wins throughout this season.

CC: How is the health of the squad going into the playoffs? Is there anyone that needs a rest? What kind of team do you expect the manager to throw out?

OA: The squad is in good shape. The spine of the team has been excellent all season and we have some of our most reliable talents returning to full fitness.

Kieran Lee - so vital to our midfield - has played twice since his return from a long-term injury; Fernando Forestieri is on the way to full fitness; Gary Hooper has returned from a long spell out and has been pivotal to our six-game winning run.

We have at least two options for every position with no major holes in the squad.

CC: Could you give a prediction for the match?

OA: We'll make changes: Carvalhal fielded a total reserve side in our final match last season.

Expect Lee, Forestieri and Hooper to get some minutes.

The flow of the game will depend entirely on Jokanovic's plans. It would be difficult to predict an outcome from two changed sides.

Our 'reserves' would be more than capable of getting a result - many individuals will feel they still have a chance of featuring from the start in our play-off semi-final.

Expect a disjointed game that brings no indication of the fun to follow.