Some stats as Sheffield Wednesday gear up for ‘Opening Day 2.0’
The current break in football has been described by many as a mini-preseason for clubs around the world, so how are Sheffield Wednesday expected to fare on opening day 2.0?
It was confirmed on Monday afternoon that the Owls will face Nottingham Forest on June 20th as Championship football returns after more than three months out due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and Garry Monk’s side will be hoping to see a major turnaround in their fortunes after a rough 2020 so far.
Wednesday have won just two of their 12 Championship games since the turn of the year, but will be hoping to add to that tally come June 20th in a behind-closed-doors game at Hillsborough.
The break has, at least, given Monk the chance to get his squad back to full health. With Keiren Westwood (shoulder) the only player now sidelined as the Owls boss welcomes back the likes of Massimo Luongo and Adam Reach into his list of available players.
Much like during preseason, SWFC players have spoken of the chance to reset and refocus, but the proof will be in the pudding when they take on a Forest side that had won just one of their last six games before the game was brought to a standstill in March.
Wednesday have a hot and cold record on opening days over the years, winning four, losing three and drawing one since their return to the second tier in 2012/13, however they did manage to win this season’s first game as they beat Reading 3-1 to get off to a good start.
Meanwhile, looking at Forest specifically, it’s certainly Wednesday that hold the upper hand in recent memory, with the Owls winning nine of their last 10 meetings (all in the Championship) – most recently a 4-0 demolition job in December when Jordan Rhodes – who has seven in 11 against NFFC – scored his first hattrick in Owls colours.
Wednesday scored seven and conceded none against Forest in their two matches in 2019, and Monk will be hoping for more of the same when the teams lock horns at a very quiet Hillsborough in 11 days time.