Date:Friday August 17 2012
Pride Park, Derby
Saturday, August 18
The wait is over. Wednesday are back in the Championship and Dave Jones's men kick-off their campaign at Pride Park, backed by almost 6,000 fans against Derby County.
The Owls will be hoping they can take their promotion-winning momentum into the new campaign but the Rams will prove a tough opening test.
Both sides had contrasting fortunes in the League Cup in midweek. Wednesday saw off Oldham Athletic 4-2 while the Rams lost a ten-goal thriller against Scunthorpe United on penalties.
All that will go out of the window on Saturday, however, when the 'proper stuff' begins. Bring it on.
Owls boss Dave Jones told the official SWFC website:
"It`s an old cliché but bottom can be top in this division because everybody somewhere along the line has good quality players.
"There might be a team that has a squad full of quality players but certainly the majority of teams will have 11 players in their squad that is capable of achieving anything.
"If you hit the ground running, if you can get the results, get a little bit of luck then anything can happen. You can go and spend millions and millions and not get anywhere near it and that`s how tough it can be."
Rams boss Nigel Clough told the official DCFC site:
"I think you see a lot of draws on the opening day of the season because nobody wants to lose, but we will be going for the win as usual - and we might be too positive at times.'
Boss Nigel Clough is set to make changes to the side that bowed out of the League Cup in dramatic fashion against Scunthorpe in midweek.
Defender James O'Connor could make his Rams debut after missing the clash with the Iron through a thigh injury, while Craig Bryson and Gareth Roberts are also expected to be fit to feature.
Jeff Hendrick could be missing from the Derby midfield through a wrist injury.
Close to a move to Wednesday many years ago, the former Nottingham Forest striker will pose a big threat to Wednesday's new-look defence.
Strike pair Gary Madine and Chris Maguire are bothy expected to be fit and available to play despite coming off with minor knocks in Monday's cup win at Oldham.
For Maguire in particular it'll be a big occasion - the Scottish striker left Pride Park for Hillsborough in the summer and said he didn;t get a fair shot at first-team action at the club.
Chris Lines is Wednesday's only injury absentee and it's unknown whether the Owls signed Preston winger Danny Mayor in time to feature in the season opener.
Eager to shine on his league debut for Wednesday, and eager to score against the club that let him leave in the summer. Maguire will have double reason to shine.
Derby wins: 44
Wednesday wins: 41
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 0-0 Derby
Neither side could find the breakthrough the last time the sides met two seasons ago, although the Rams won their home clash 3-0.
v Birmingham City (H) - 21/8/12
v Millwall (H) - 25/8/12
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Date:Friday August 17 2012
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