After the long summer break the new Championship season is finally upon us, and the Owls’ opening clash of the campaign is sure to be a cracker.
South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley are Wednesday’s first opponents of a season which promises so much for Wednesdayites, with chairman Lee Strafford at the helm for his first full season.
The transfer may have not been a big and numerous as some fans will have hoped for, but Simon Davey’s Barnsley side have been even quieter over the pre-season, linking them with the early season struggles tag.
But Wednesday boss Brian Laws knows anything can happen on the first day of the season, especially where a local derby clash is concerned.
The same result as the opening day of last season will do quite nicely, though…
Owls captain Darren Purse told SWFC.co.uk:
‘It’s going to be a tough game, they’re a big and powerful side, we’ll have to stand up to them and hopefully our ability will shine through.
‘Local derbies are what you play football for. Obviously the big match is the Sheffield United game , but Barnsley is up there with that and hopefully we’ll take the three points and get off to a good start.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday boss Brian Laws has promised that there’ll be a ‘few surprises’ in the line-up for the visit of the Tykes this weekend.
New signing Darren Purse is set to get the nod in the centre of defence, but Laws will still have to decide who he partners at the back, with both Richard Wood and Mark Beevers battling for a starting place.
Frank Simek, injured for most of last season, could also be intention for a start after impressing in the pre-season.
Laws has passed new signing Tommy Miller fit for the clash, but the former Ipswich man could be forced to start on the bench due to a lack of match fitness.
Akpo Sodje is definitely out, but Leon Clarke could return to the squad after picking up an injury against Blackbutn last season.
But Laws could opt for a fully fit striker line-up of Marcus Tudgay and Francis Jeffers.
Player to watch: Marcus Tudgay
Last season’s top scorer was the subject of mass transfer speculation linking him with Burnley in recent weeks, and Owls fans will be delighted to see him start the season at Hillsborough. He’ll have a tough act to follow after last season’s superb campaign, but he’s more than capable og bettering that, starting this weekend.
Barnsley Team News:
Barnsley could be bolstered by two new additions ahead of the short trip to S6 on Saturday.
Former loanee Adam Hammill could be Oakwell-bound after Liverpool accepted an offer for the midfielder from the Tykes this week, and is set to be unveiled in the next 48 hours.
Striker O’Neil Thompson is also set to put pen to paper on a deal at Oakwell after impressing boss Simon Davey while on trail with the club.
Both players are set to be included in the squad for the clash with Wednesday.
Striker Iain Hume, who saw his season ended last term by a horrific foul by Chris Morgan, has returned over the pre-season but could only be ready for an appearance on the bench.
Player to watch: Jemal Campbell-Ryce
The former Southend United man did the damage for Barnsley last season at Hillsborough when the Tykes ran out 1-0 winners, and he’ll be the biggest threat for the visitors once again this weekend thanks to his pace and trickery down the wing.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 30
Barnsley wins: 21
Last Time Out
Wednesday 0-1 Barnsley
Jemal Campbell-Ryce bagged the only goal in fine style as Barnsley ended their Hillsborough hoodoo with a close fought victory back in February.
v Rochdale (League Cup) (H) – 11/08/09
v Peterborough (A) – 16/08/09