Some of Sheffield Wednesday's opponents are playing friendlies but Garry Monk cold on the idea

Preparations for the return of the Championship are gathering pace.

Sunday, 7th June 2020, 4:26 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th June 2020, 4:26 pm

As things stand, we are presuming the fixture schedule will remain the same as it was before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the temporary shutdown of football across the world.

That means Sheffield Wednesday are lined-up to face Nottingham Forest on the weekend of June 20.

Ahead of that proposed start-date, many clubs have been organising friendlies as part of the strategy to have players ready for a return to action, with their last game having been at the end of the first week in March.

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Garry Monk is not keen on playing friendly matches ahead of the return of the Championship on June 20, though some teams are

Out of the nine remaining games that Wednesday have, we are currently aware that three teams have played or are going to play a behind-closed-doors game, while another are planning, with an opponent yet to be confirmed.

While specific guidelines have not been officially laid out by the EFL with regard to friendlies, the Premier League have stipulated that matches can’t be played against teams outside a travel time of 90 minutes.

Over the course of this weekend, some teams have already been taking part in games - others will do so this week.

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Forest’s planning will see the promotion-chasers travel to take on Wolves at some stage over the course of the next few days.

Of the teams Garry Monk’s side are still to face, Huddersfield took part in a behind-closed-doors match against Sheffield United on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, West Brom reportedly drew 2-2 with Aston Villa.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have yet to confirm a warm-up match but boss Jonathan Woodgate has stated he is keen to have one.

Elsewhere, away from Wednesday’s opponents, Blackburn are to play Liverpool, Hull and Barnsley could face Sheffield United and Charlton took on Arsenal on Saturday.

Despite this, though, it’s interesting that Monk appears to be taking a different approach, with the safety of his players being taken very seriously.

He told us earlier this week: “I think from a health perspective, with this virus, why would you invite a group of people from outside into your sterile environment? I don’t see why you would do that. We’ll do it in-house, that’s the safest way in terms of player welfare and looking after ourselves.”

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Thank you. Chris.