Sheffield Wednesday vs Aston Villa:
England – Championship.
Date: Sunday, 7 August, 2016
Kick-off: 16:30 UK.
Venue: Hillsborough Stadium (Sheffield).
A troubled Aston Villa kick-start their life in Football League Championship with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday afternoon.
Aston Villa installed former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo as their new manager following the miserable season in Premier League last season. The UEFA Champions League manager has a massive task at hand even before thinking of winning promotion. He must reunite the squad first and win back the faith of the fans.
The Villans had a busy pre-season conducting seven friendlies. Mateo mostly used these matches to experiment various formations and tactics. But they enjoyed considerable success winning 5, while they only only once, in the final friendly 3-1 to Middlesborough.
Sheffield Wednesday are the losing finalists of last season’s play-offs and their head-coach Carlos Carvalhal played a vital role in transforming the club in his debut season. The squad is much more settled this term with their key players staying put and new additions to strengthen the critical areas.
The Owls suffered just one defeat in their 6 pre-season friendly games, with 4 wins and draw. The 1-0 win at home against Portuguese outfit Benfica was the highlight of their summer campaign.
Sheffield Wednesday: Team News
Lucks Joao is a major doubt after picking up a knock in their final friendly match against Port Vale. Other than this Carvalhal has no injury worries or players out with suspension.
The former Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher, who arrived at Hillsborough as a free agent is expected to hand a start. While the other new signings Alman Abdi and Will Buckley are all expected to feature at some point of the match.
Sheffield Wednesday: Expected Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Westwood – Pudil, Hutchinson, Lees, Hunt – Lee, Bannan – Wallace, Forestieri, Matias – Fletcher.
Aston Villa: Team News
With the departure of Brad Guzan to Middlesbrough, the new signing Pierluigi Gollini is expected to start in goal. While Ross McCormack who arrived Fulham is short of match fitness and may not feature here.
Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott are likely to be dropped as there are rumours of them leaving the club in the summer transfer window. The new signings Tommy Elphick and Nathan Baker are expected to start in the center defense.
Aston Villa: Expected Starting Line-up (4-4-2)
Gollini – Cissokho, Baker, Elphick, Hutton – Bacuna, Westwood, Gardner, Grealish – Ayew, Gestede.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Aston Villa: Head-to-Head Stats
The latest league meeting between these two sides can be dated back to 1999/2000 Premier League season. And Villa are on a five match winning run against Sheffield.
However the last meeting was in the 2001/02 League Cup, which Sheffield won by 1-0 on November 2001.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Aston Villa: Prediction
Sheffield Wednesday are unbeaten in the last six competitive matches at home. While Aston Villa were one of the worst away side in the Premier League last season. The hosts, who are looking to carry the momentum from last season will back themselves to get off to a winning start.
At the same time, Wednesday conceded just two goals from their last 6 home games and they will prove too tough for the Villians to break down. So the total number of goals is likely to remain under 2.5, unless one of the two sides let their gates wide open.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Aston Villa: Tips
- Sheffield Wednesday to win
- Under 2.5 goals.