Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal is convinced the Championship promotion race will be wide open in the 2017/18 season.
Carvalhal, who has guided the Owls to back-to-back play-off finishes, takes his side to Preston North End for their opening fixture a week on Saturday.
He told The Star: “I believe it will be a balanced competition. There are eight teams who have abilities to get promoted but there will be 20 teams who want to get promoted.
“It is a marathon and the teams who are more stable and consistent will be in the first positions.
“We have not started well in the last two seasons but we have managed to stabalise the team and jump positions.
“It is not something easy to do but we have done it and we will be trying to do better than in the last two years.”
When asked if the Owls can mount a top-two push, Carvalhal said: “I can’t promise we will finish first or second. Nobody can say that but we will fight to do that.
“We have improved the team in the last two years, which is something not easy to do.
“We will work hard and try to do better than last season.
“Nobody will go to the Premier League in December or January. Everything will be decided in May.
“It will be a tough competition but I believe we are one of the best teams.”