Match Predictions: Chris Holt on the opening weekend's games

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The opening day's matches are always difficult to predict the outcome of, but let's have a go anyway.


Sheffield Wednesday v Bristol City

It's been the most eventful summer at Hillsborough in years with the anticipation for a new campaign at fever pitch among Owls fans. There's a new head coach and a bucketload of new players and all in all they look a lot stronger on paper than they did last season. The worry is it could take time for some of the new faces to become accustomed to life in the Championship but the club have brought in a few players who know the division well, which will be a huge help to all around them. Wednesday showed a definite increase in their attacking prowess against St Mirren last week, though the Scots didn't put up much of a fight, but defensively a few days earlier they looked a but shaky against Scunthorpe. I think this could be the story of their season - not as strong at the back as last year but much better going forward (though it wouldn't be hard to better that).

PREDICTION: Sheffield Wednesday 3 Bristol City 2

Rotherham United v MK Dons

The Millers have, perhaps surprisingly, done very well in the transfer market over the summer - on paper at least. They've signed solid Championship players and as a result I'd expect them to be a reasonably solid Championship outfit. They'll be tipped by many to go down and while I think they'll hover above the drop zone for some of the season, I would expect them to be looking forward to another season in the second tier next year. Steve Evans' side will have to get off to a good start though to build momentum and for that reason, this is a good opener, against a team who I do believe will struggle.

PREDICTION: Rotherham United 2 MK Dons 1

League One

Gillingham v Sheffield United

There's a real air of positivity about Bramall Lane, helped in no small way by the exuberant new manager Nigel Adkins. He hasn't brought too many players in, perhaps showing that the team under-performed for large parts of last season but the signing of Billy Sharp and perhaps to a lesser extent Conor Sammon will help alleviate the frustrations of the lack of firepower the Blades showed under Nigel Clough. However, if pre-season is anything to go by then this could be the year that Che Adams really comes to prominence. The 19 year old is pure class and the big teams will be having a close look at him. Adams can really make things happen and a starting role would further increase the buzz that surrounds the club at present. I'd expect a comfortable win on the opening day.

PREDICTION: Gillingham 0 Sheffield United 2

Chesterfield v Barnsley

I tipped Chesterfield to go down last year and was proven very, very wrong. However, the majority of the key figures who took them into the play offs, not least the manager, have all flown the nest and new boss Dean Saunders has been having great difficulty trying to replace them. Barnsley haven't been particularly prolific in the market but they have strengthened at least and probably will do further before the transfer window shuts. Can't see anything other than an away win here.

PREDICTION: Chesterfield 0 Barnsley 2

Doncaster Rovers v Bury

Paul Dickov has strengthened the areas that really needed looked at and probably pulled off the coup of the summer in League One by bringing in Andy Williams from Swindon. The goalkeeping problem has also been solved in Thorsten Stuckmann's arrival and Dany N'Guessan is another notable face through the Keepmoat doors. Rovers could be a bit of a surprise package this season and the new signings certainly indicate that Paul Dickov's somewhat cautious approach which riled some supporters could be about to lessen. Home win on the cards here.

PREDICTION Doncaster Rovers 2 Bury 0