The EFL season kicks off with the return of the Championship as newly-promoted Sheffield Wednesday lock horns with recently-relegated Southampton at Hillsborough.
Wednesday have had a pretty hectic summer since they beat Barnsley 1-0 in the play-off final in May. Darren Moore was controversially axed as manager and replaced by former Watford boss Xisco Munoz who may have a job on his hands staving off the threat of relegation.
Signings have started to come through the door in recent days, but Wednesday probably still need more if they are to adapt to the jump up in quality from League One to Championship.
There may well be debuts handed out to new recruits such as Di’Shon Bernard and Bambo Diaby who have joined up in recent days to come in alongside the key players of last season in Barry Bannan and Josh Windass.
Sheffield Wednesday v Southampton
20:00 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HDR
(Maximum 10 matches)
NOV 2022 LEAGUE CUP Southampton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
SEP 2012 LEAGUE CUP Southampton 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday
MAR 2011 LEAGUE ONE Southampton 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday
SEP 2010 LEAGUE ONE Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Southampton
APR 2009 CHAMPIONSHIP Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Southampton
DEC 2008 CHAMPIONSHIP Southampton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
DEC 2007 CHAMPIONSHIP Southampton 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday
NOV 2007 CHAMPIONSHIP Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 Southampton
JAN 2007 CHAMPIONSHIP Southampton 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday
DEC 2006 CHAMPIONSHIP Sheffield Wednesday 3-3 Southampton
Southampton will be looking to get off to a strong start as they plot their bid to make an immediate return to the Premier League following relegation last season.
They have recruited Russell Martin, formerly of MK Dons and Swansea City, as the man to lead that charge towards promotion and also some new players which include Ryan Manning and Shea Charles as well as some returning loanees in Nathan Tella and Will Smallbone.
As it stands, James Ward-Prowse and Romeo Lavia – who have both been subject to plenty of transfer speculation this summer – are still with the club and Martin revealed in his pre-match presser that both should be involved in Friday night’s Championship opener.
Of course, it is incredibly difficult to predict results on the opening weekend of the season, but it is hard to look beyond an away victory for Southampton when comparing the two squads. At 11/8 with starsports.bet, that’s what I am backing here.
BACK Southampton to win 3pts at 11/8 (⭐
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PROFIT/LOSS (AUGUST 2023): LOSS -1.50 points