As the new season approaches, Sheffield Wednesday perhaps feel that they have more work to do in the transfer market and the loss of Michail Antonio to Nottingham Forest has certainly not helped matters either.
Wednesday, who will be hoping for a good start, will face tough opposition in Brighton, who themselves have had a pre-season of upheaval. Last season’s play-off semi-finalists have lost their manager, goalkeeper, main centre-back and main striker this summer and will be hoping their replacements will be good enough to see them to an opening day three points.
Nevertheless, Sheffield Wednesday will be desperate to prevent that from happening and we feel this is the side that Stuart Gray will put out to achieve that task.
Predicted Sheffield Wednesday XI:
Palmer – Lees – Loovens – Mattock
Maguire – Lee – Hutchinson – Coke – Maghoma
The loss of Antonio will certainly be a big miss as Wednesday haven’t had enough time to properly replace him. However, his absence does open the door up for Jacques Maghoma to stake a more regular place in the Wednesday team after he claimed a change in squad number could help him hit his potential earlier in the week.
In the back five, we believe that new signing Keiren Westwood is more likely to get the nod over the more experienced Chris Kirkland and Wednesday fans should expect to see new signing Tom Lees line up next to Glen Loovens, leaving Zayatte on the bench.
Hutchinson, who is predominantly a defender, has slotted in well at the heart of the Wednesday midfield and should expect to stay there, whilst, as suggested, former Burton Albion winger Jacques Maghoma should be given the chance to impress replacing the departed Antonio on the left side of midfield.
Upfront, although Wednesday are expected to announce the signing of Stevie May before their game with Brighton, we still believe that Atdhe Nuhiu will be given the job of spear-heading the Wednesday attack. The Austrian striker had a slow start to life at Hillsborough, however, ended the season on a high by scoring four goals in his last five games.
Sheffield Wednesday fans will be keen for him to replicate that form as he looks to stake his claim for a long-term role in the Owls starting line-up.