The first Championship game of the season takes place on Friday as promoted Sheffield Wednesday face a Southampton side who will be hoping to secure an immediate Premier League return.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton Betting Tips
- Southampton to win @ 13/10 with bet365
- Nathan Tella to score at any time @ 2/1 with bet365
- Will Vaulks to be shown a card @ 21/10 with bet365
All odds courtesy of bet365, correct at the time of publishing and subject to change.
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Saints quality should tell
It is always hard to judge how a team will react to relegation, or indeed promotion, but looking at the respective squads there is a clear difference in quality between Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday.
The teams were playing two divisions apart last term and Saints have largely managed to keep their squad intact, while Wednesday finished behind both Ipswich and Plymouth in League One.
Russell Martin looks an astute appointment as manager by the Southampton hierarchy and he knows this league inside out after his stint with Swansea. Promotion should be the aim for the St Mary’s side this term and they can make a perfect start with a win at Hillsborough on Friday night.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton Tip 1: Southampton to win @ 13/10 with bet365
Tella can fire Saints to glory
Nathan Tella starred for Burnley last season as they went on to win the Championship title and he could well do the same again for Saints after returning from his loan stint at Turf Moor.
The 24-year-old winger has 19 goals in 45 games in all competitions for the Clarets and has a chance to firmly establish himself in the Southampton side.
Tella had a spell on the sidelines towards the end of last season but has featured regularly for Saints in pre-season. He should start on Friday and can mark his return to his parent club with a goal after impressing in this division last season.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton Tip 2: Nathan Tella to score at any time @ 2/1 with bet365
Vaulks a card contender
Sheffield Wednesday forward Will Vaulks could find himself in the referee’s notebook as he tends to adopt a fairly aggressive approach to the game.
The Welshman picked up seven bookings in 46 games for the Owls in League One last season in a team that dominated the section. Southampton are likely to boss possession so Wednesday may spend a lot of the game chasing the ball, which could lead to bookings for the hosts’ attackers.
Vaulks is the standout pick in this regard as he was booked eight times in 38 games the last time he played in the Championship with Cardiff, and last term he averaged a reasonably hefty 1.4 fouls per game for Wednesday in the third tier.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton Tip 3: Will Vaulks to be shown a card @ 21/10 with bet365