Sheffield Wednesday’s Championship campaign kicks off on Friday night, when they take on Southampton at Hillsborough Stadium.
Owls club captain Barry Bannan has previewed the game, and acknowledges that his side face a tough task.
Wednesday have just been promoted back into the second tier from League One, whilst the Saints were just relegated from the Premier League. Whilst there have been plenty of exits from St Mary’s Stadium this summer, Southampton still boast plenty of players who have the quality to thrive at this level.
The game will also mark Xisco Munoz’s first competitive game in charge of Sheffield Wednesday, having been appointed as Darren Moore’s replacement earlier in the summer. He will be keen to see his side hit the ground running and adapt to his ideas and tactics quickly.
Sheffield Wednesday plotting their way to victory
Bannan confirmed that the manager has developed a “gameplan” to take into the Southampton game. As quoted on the club’s Twitter page, the 33-year-old said, “we’ve got a gameplan for Friday night and if we can carry it out then we are confident we can get a result.”
Wednesday will have to be tactically excellent to offset Southampton’s strengths. There is plenty of experience in the squad for Xisco to take advantage of. He will have formulated a plan that plays to the Owls’ strengths, and his players will take heart from the Hillsborough crowd.
The excitement and momentum garnered by the club’s play-off triumph may well carry them through in this game. However, Xisco will know that a long, tough campaign lays ahead. More signings will need to be made as well. As things stand, the Owls lack the depth required compete effectively for the duration of a Championship season.