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The football season is back and Friday night brings us a cracker to open things up with a Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton bet builder.
Newly-promoted Sheffield Wednesday are the hosts, welcoming recently-relegated Southampton to Hillsborough in a match-up between two huge second-tier football clubs with proud top-flight histories, but on the back of chaotic summers.
The hosts parted company with the man that took them back into the second tier this summer, Darren Moore moved on over a contractual dispute, if you believe chairman Dejphon Chansiri, leading to the appointment of ex-Watford boss Xisco Munoz. The visitors knew exactly who they wanted after relegation but Russell Martin took a while to prize from Swansea City due to a compensation agreement, and the summer hasn’t been easy with rumours around several players potentially leaving the club.
It promises to be an electric affair as both clubs look to prove they’ve made the right decisions this summer in front of a huge crowd and we are here to preview the clash, providing you with Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton bet builder options.
Betfair are offering a £20 full stake refund if your first bet loses, potentially tabling some extra ammunition for your Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton bet builder.
SHEFF WED VS SOUTHAMPTON PREDICTED LINEUPS
Wednesday line-up unknown under new man Xisco
Trying to work out exactly what Xisco Munoz has in store for Sheff Wed’s opening game of the season is difficult. Here’s a man that was employed late into the summer and had no fresh footballers in his squad until around a week ago. He has toyed with different things during pre-season but it looks as if he may revert to the 4-3-3 that proved so successful during his time at Watford. That could mean a slight change in position for Josh Windass while Juan Delgado could play more as a winger than a wing back.
Martin expected to line up with a back four
While Russell Martin is a stickler for his possession-heavy process, he has been relatively flexible on shape and pre-season suggests he will move away from the three-at-the-back that was common during his reigns at MK Dons and Swansea City, and move to a four, perhaps owing to the additional quality in his squad. That means Nathan Tella and Samuel Edozie could step into the side as wingers while James Ward-Prowse, who was confirmed as being available by Martin, will sit at the base of midfield.
SHEFF WED VS SOUTHAMPTON TEAM STATS
Xisco’s work cut out turning round Wednesday
Sheff Wed were successful last season largely thanks to a team spirit, adaptability and quality at League One level. With player quality negated at Championship level, they will be relying on the former.
Sheff Wed committed the sixth most fouls in League One last season and sat mid-table for possession metrics, Xisco Munoz is going to have to find more of those qualities in his squad as they take on a Southampton side full of proven top-flight and or Championship ability.
Time for Southampton to trust in the process
Judging Southampton on their Premier League status may not be the wisest idea from a betting angle given they are now one of the biggest clubs in their league, have one of the biggest budgets and a manager with a very clear identity.
Russell Martin’s Swansea side averaged 63.4% on average last season, had the sixth best xG for numbers, second most shots on target and were the second most fouled team. It’s early doors but Martin has had a full pre-season and a stronger squad to work with – we should expect more from that.
SHEFF WED VS SOUTHAMPTON PLAYERS TO WATCH
Michael Smith the all-round forward for Sheff Wed
Darren Moore persuaded owner Chansiri to put money down on Michael Smith, the man that had led Rotherham to promotion and was signing on the back of his best season ever. He repaid Moore’s faith with 17 goals.
He averaged 2.85 shots per 90 minutes last season with 1.3 of those on target and it should be acknowledged that he is also first-choice penalty taker too. Furthermore, he’s not afraid to throw his weight around, committing 1.86 fouls per 90 minutes and on the opening day in front of a home crowd, he will want to throw Saints’ centre backs off their new game.
Windass is Wednesday’s trump card
Sheff Wed’s key attacking player is Josh Windass. The 29-year-old has had an up-and-down career despite having clear quality and that showed in abundance last year, racking up 18 goal contributions in 27.4 90s.
His goal return is perhaps unsurprising given the volume of shots he takes – his 3.8 shots per 90 is at least one more shot than his team-mates and he averaged 1.13 shots on target per 90 too. He’s also a nuisance in open play for opponents, drawing an average of 1.39 fouls per 90.
Byers chomping at the bit to return
George Byers was seen as a huge loss for Sheff Wed towards the end of last season as they lost out on the title and squeezed through the play-offs in remarkable fashion. He’s now back and the energetic midfielder will be desperate to get back amongst it, harrying opponents and supporting the attack.
He averaged 2.1 fouls per 90 minutes last season and will be responsible for getting amongst a Saints midfield that will see plenty of the ball but will also be getting used to their new patterns in a competitive environment for the first time.
Alcaraz proving a great find for Saints
Not everything has to be bad in a bad year and Carlos Alcaraz is proof of that at Southampton. The 20-year-old, signed from Argentinian outfit Racing Club in January had a strong impact with six goal contributions from 11.4 90s and you have to expect he will improve on those numbers playing Championship football for a more dominant side.
The 20-year-old available to score or assist anytime at 8/5, an enticing option for a Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton bet builder. He averaged 0.88 shots on target per 90 in the Premier League. He was also involved with the referee a fair amount, committing and drawing over 1.4 fouls per 90.
England star set to start season a level below
James Ward-Prowse can feel pretty harshly done by as far as his England career goes, overlooked for the biggest tournaments because others have arrived and peaked at various times.
He remains Southampton’s Mr Consistent, missing just two league matches in the last four seasons and reaching double figures for goals and assists in the last three campaigns. Furthermore, JWP is capable from dead balls and long range, making 5/6 on him to have a shot on target worth considering.
Adams looking for big return back in second tier
It hasn’t really happened for Che Adams since joining Southampton, after four Premier League seasons yielded 25 goals and his levels dropping over each of his last three.
However, his last season in the Championship saw him break the 20-goal barrier and he will be playing in the final third more than he did in the Premier League, meaning he could find himself taking more punts at goal. Adams averaged 2.75 shots per game over his last two Championship seasons and over a shot on target per 90 in four of his last six campaigns.
SHEFF WED VS SOUTHAMPTON MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Liam Palmer vs Samuel Edozie
Any youngster signed from Man City should excite fans and Samuel Edozie certainly proved to be that during his short spell in the Southampton first-team last season. The 20-year-old made 17 first-team appearances last season, five of those starts, and proved himself to be somebody that wants to get at opponents, attempting 37 dribbles in what accounted to 6.3 90s.
He drew an average of 3.49 fouls per 90. It’s clear that Liam Palmer, his direct opponent in this fixture, will have his work cut out, the experienced full-back is likely to find himself isolated at the point Southampton work the ball out wide – he committed 0.86 fouls per 90 last season.
Will Vaulks vs Carlos Alcaraz
If Sheff Wed are going to stop Carlos Alcaraz, they are going to need Will Vaulks on top of his game. Alcaraz is a diminutive, exciting footballer that makes things happen in the final third and will be involved in the final parts of Southampton moves. Vaulks is a pretty tasty character, a defensive midfielder that loves a tackle and to get the crowd up. However, that meant him committing 1.82 fouls per 90 minutes last season.
George Byers vs James Ward-Prowse
George Byers’ task in the Sheff Wed midfield is to provide energy and support the attack in the press, buzzing all over, committing fouls and stopping the opposition playing their game from deep. Ward-Prowse will be a central figure in the Saints’ attempts to play Martin-ball, a possession-heavy style that will see their defence and deep midfield see a lot of the ball. Ward-Prowse will be tasked with taking possession a lot and Byers will want to be close by to snap into tackles.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton BET BUILDER TIPS AND PICKS OF THE PACK
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