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Aug 7, 2021 at 5.30pm UK
CharltonCharlton Athletic
Sheff WedsSheffield Wednesday

Matthews (33')

Hutchinson (43'), Bannan (61'), Iorfa (84')

Preview: Charlton Athletic vs. Sheffield Wednesday - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Charlton Athletic vs. Sheffield Wednesday - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

After nearly a decade in the second tier of English football, Sheffield Wednesday begin life in League One with a trip to Charlton Athletic on Saturday evening.

The hosts have had a mixed pre-season – winning, drawing and losing two games each – while the Owls have already tasted competitive action, losing in the League Cup to Huddersfield Town.

Match preview

For the fourth time in the last five years, Charlton will be competing in the third tier of English football and expectation has now risen for a positive campaign.

With all the off-field woes experienced at the Valley in recent seasons, there is now optimism that the club can begin to head back in the right direction, and a push for promotion is firmly on the agenda this term.

Nigel Adkins, who replaced Lee Bowyer in March, took charge for the final 10 league games of last season, losing only once. However, the Addicks narrowly missed out on a playoff spot by goal difference, finishing in seventh place.

The 56-year-old has been a popular appointment among the Charlton fanbase, with his man-management skills and nous for working with young talent seemingly a perfect match for the squad at his disposal.

New owner Thomas Sandsgaard plans to invest in the remaining weeks of the window, adding to the five signings already made this summer. All five are set to feature in the matchday squad this weekend for their opening fixture against Sheffield Wednesday, a side they last faced just two years ago in the Championship.

Charlton lost on both occasions against the Owls in 2019-20, but that will not be in their minds on Saturday. The Addicks will fancy their chances of claiming all three points on home soil as they look to kickstart the new campaign in style.

After nine seasons in the Championship, Sheffield Wednesday were relegated to League One last year, with a six point deduction for breaching EFL spending rules one of the main contributing factors to their downfall.

Despite being under a transfer embargo up until last month, which prevented them from paying any transfer fees, a drastic squad overhaul has taken place at Hillsborough this summer, with 14 players departing and 11 joining the club.

Darren Moore now has a huge task in getting these players to gel quickly, with a strong start needed if they are to have any chance of bouncing back into the second tier.

After suffering an early exit on penalties to Huddersfield in the first round of the League Cup last weekend, life in League One begins with a tricky trip to The Valley, where the Owls have won just twice in their last seven outings. They have, however, won each of their last three meetings against Charlton, scoring seven goals in the process.

Wednesday fans have not had a lot to smile about in recent times and off-field instability continues to linger, but a victory on Saturday could provide a much-needed springboard for the start of the new campaign.

Charlton Athletic form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L

Sheffield Wednesday form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Charlton boss Adkins named a strong starting lineup in the pre-season defeat to Fulham last weekend, and he could name a similar side on Saturday.

New recruit Craig MacGillivray is set to start in goal and will likely be protected by central defenders Ryan Inniss and Norwich City loanee Akin Famewo.

Ben Purrington is unlikely to feature after picking up a knock during pre-season, therefore either Jacob Roddy or Chris Gunter could start at left-back.

Sean Clare and George Dobson, who have joined the club from Oxford United and Sunderland respectively this summer, are expected to start in central midfield alongside Albie Morgan, while Jayden Stockley – who scored eight goals at The Valley in the second half of last season whilst on loan – is set to lead the line up front.

As for Sheffield Wednesday, the majority of their 11 new signings are set to be in contention to feature on Saturday.

Like Charlton, the Owls could also hand a new goalkeeper his league debut, in the form of Bailey Peacock-Farrell who has been brought in on loan from Premier League side Burnley, while Jack Hunt – who returns from Bristol City – is set to start at right-back.

Liam Palmer started the last match at left-back ahead of Jaden Brown, who has joined from Huddersfield, and the former could keep his place in the first XI.

Lewis Wing and Dennis Adeniran – brought in from Middlesbrough and Everton respectively – are both set to join experienced captain Barry Bannan in central midfield, while either Lee Gregory or Callum Paterson is expected to start up front.

Charlton Athletic possible starting lineup:
MacGillivray; Matthews, Inniss, Famewo, Roddy; Clare, Dobson, Morgan; Jaiyesimi, Stockley, Washington

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Peacock-Farrell; Hunt, Iorfa, Hutchinson, Palmer; Adeniran, Bannan, Wing; Green, Paterson, Shodipo

We say: Charlton Athletic 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

With both sides recruiting several new players over the summer, Saturday's game could be seen as somewhat of an experiment for both managers, who will be looking to formulate their strongest starting lineups in the early part of the season.

A closely-fought contest is set be played out at the Valley and with little to separate the two teams, the spoils could be shared.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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