Sheffield Wednesday get their home campaign underway with a local derby against newly-promoted Barnsley. It’s an eagerly-anticipated clash that could see six players make their debuts, as both teams were active in the last few days of the window. The two sides managed to kick off their seasons with victories last week – the managerless Owls won 3-1 at Reading whilst the Reds upset the odds to beat Fulham 1-0.
Sheffield Wednesday v Barnsley Preview
Last Minute Transfer Action
Wednesday had a hectic deadline day, bringing in three new fresh faces who could make their bow against the Reds. Massimo Luongo, Jacob Murphy and David Bates all signed for the Owls, with the departure of Lucas Joao to Reading seemingly freeing up some cash in Wednesday’s coffers.
Tough-tackling midfielder Massimo Luongo was the first through the door on Thursday morning. The Australian joined on a permanent deal from QPR to give Lee Bullen’s side more options in the engine room. His addition will be vital, as holding midfielder Sam Hutchinson often struggles with injury problems. Newcastle winger Jacob Murphy also joined on a season-long loan, giving Wednesday more pace in wide areas. And after missing out on Michael Hector, Bullen’s side turned their attentions to Hamburg defender David Bates who has also joined the club on loan.
Barnsley also brought in two fresh faces on deadline day who could make their debuts against the Owls. Versatile full-back Clarke Odour penned a four-year deal after joining from Yorkshire rivals Leeds. The 20 year-old is capable of playing at left-back or on the wing. Daniel Stendel also brought in 21 year-old Austrian striker Patrick Schmidt. He’ll be hoping to fill the void left by Kieffer Moore, who left South Yorkshire to join Wigan earlier in the week.
Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley Started As They Meant to Go On
Both teams enjoyed success on the opening day of the season. Barnsley were very impressive as they dispatched recently relegated Fulham at Oakwell. Debutant Luke Thomas scored the only goal of the game, as a Barnsley side featuring six debutants controlled the first half. The Cottagers improved in the second half, but Daniel Stendl’s men held on to claim victory in their first game back in the second tier.
Meanwhile, the Owls claimed a 3-1 victory at Reading. New signing Kadeem Harris played on the left of a three man attack, and his blistering pace caused no end of trouble for the Royals’ defence. It was Harris who opened the scoring in the first half, before a header from Yakou Meite drew the Royals level. Wednesday retook the lead through Sam Hutchinson just two minutes later, and then striker Lucas Joao’s last act in an Owls shirt was to hit a 97th minute winner against his future employers.
The Owls were reduced to ten men after Kieren Westwood was sent off in the second period. He’ll be suspended for Saturday’s clash.
Fortune certainly hasn’t favoured the away side in this fixture. Barnsley haven’t beaten the Owls since the 2008-09 season when they did the double over Brian Laws’ side. However, that stat will bear no significance when these local rivals do battle on Saturday. The Reds are brimming with confidence after promotion and opening day victory, so this test will be far from straightforward for managerless Wednesday. However, caretaker manager Lee Bullen has a strong squad at his disposal – packed with proven Championship performers. That should give them the edge in this game against an inexperienced Barnsley outfit.