Preview: York City vs. Sheffield Wednesday – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s friendly clash between York City and Sheffield Wednesday, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ahead of their return to the Championship, and following the recent appointment of Xisco Munoz as their new manager, Sheffield Wednesday will play in their first pre-season friendly of the campaign on Saturday, when they make the short trip to take on York City.

The Owls won promotion back to England’s second tier through the playoffs last time around, but they now start life without Darren Moore at the helm, while their hosts are preparing for another season in the National League.

Match preview

Watford manager Xisco Munoz pictured in February 2021© Reuters

York City come into pre-season having consolidated their National League status last time around, after winning promotion to England’s fifth tier in the 2021-22 season.

On their return to the National League for the first time since 2017, the Minstermen secured a 19th-placed finish, two spots and three points above the relegation zone, having managed 51 points in their 46 outings.

That was largely thanks to back-to-back wins over Barnet and promotion-chasing Chesterfield in early April, and after defeats to Halifax Town and Torquay United, Michael Morton‘s side would confirm their safety with a pair of draws against Aldershot Town and eventual playoff winners Notts County in the last two games.

Now turning their attention to the new term, following the announcement that Morton will lead the side into the new season, they will hope to kick off their preparations on the front foot at home to their fellow Yorkshire side on Saturday.

Sheffield Wednesday's Josh Windass celebrates scoring their first goal on May 29, 2023© Reuters

The visitors, meanwhile, arrive for pre-season following plenty of change after a dramatic campaign last time around.

In their second successive season in League One, the Owls set their sights on returning to England’s second tier, and after sitting in a strong position to earn automatic promotion well after the halfway point of the term, they eventually had to settle for third place following a drop in form early in 2023.

The Owls, under the management of Darren Moore, then looked set to drop out of the playoffs in particularly disappointing fashion, as the away leg of their semi-final tie with Peterborough United finished in a 4-0 defeat, but the South Yorkshire outfit rallied at Hillsborough, taking the tie to extra time thanks to goals from Michael Smith, Lee Gregory, Reece James and Liam Palmer, before Callum Paterson again drew them level in extra time, forcing a penalty shootout which Moore’s side finally prevailed in.

That booked their place in the playoff final against local rivals Barnsley, and after the hosts were reduced to 10 men soon after half time, the contest remained goalless and looked set to go all the way to another shootout, only for Josh Windass to head in the winning goal in the third minute of added time at the end of the second half of extra time, sealing his side’s promotion in the most dramatic fashion as a result.

Not long after their return to the Championship was confirmed, the Owls announced the departure of Moore, though, and now with Xisco Munoz set to lead them into the new campaign, Sheffield Wednesday will bid to kick off pre-season with a victory in their first game under the new coach before meeting Chesterfield, Real Murcia and Doncaster Rovers in friendlies in the coming weeks.

York City friendly form:

York City form (all competitions):

Sheffield Wednesday friendly form:

Sheffield Wednesday form (all competitions):

Team News

Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan reacts on May 29, 2023© Reuters

York City announced several departures at the end of the 2022-23 season, but they have already been busy in topping their squad up with quality, with defenders Levi Andoh, Scott Barrow, Kevin Joshua and Thierry Latty-Fairweather all arriving alongside midfielders Zanda Siziba and Finlay Barnes.

Also joining Morton’s squad are striker Cedric Main and goalkeeper David Stockdale, who returned to the Minstermen following a 17-year-hiatus, after being a part of Saturday’s opponents’ promotion-winning squad last term, and he should start between the sticks against his former club.

Key men Olly Dyson and Lenell John-Lewis have both stayed at the club over the summer, with the former being crucial in midfield and attacking veteran John-Lewis having notched up 14 league goals last term.

Yet to make any senior signings this summer, other than the permanent capture of defender Reece James after his loan spell, Sheffield Wednesday will travel to York with a squad less full than the one that won promotion last term, having confirmed the departures of the likes of Dennis Adeniran, Jaden Brown, Jack Hunt and new York goalkeeper Stockdale, while centre-back Aden Flint‘s loan came to an end after their triumph at Wembley.

The Owls do still have plenty of quality to work with heading into the new season, though, with Michael Smith, Lee Gregory and Josh Windass all keen to impress in attack, while Callum Paterson may again take up more of a midfield role and compete for places with the likes of Will Vaulks, captain Barry Bannan and George Byers, who missed the end of last season through injury.

Ben Heneghan also saw his contract at Hillsborough run out after a long injury layoff of his own, but he has been invited back for pre-season and could be in the mix with the likes of Michael Ihiekwe, Reece James, Akin Famewo and Dominic Iorfa to make an appearance at the weekend.

York City possible starting lineup:
Stockdale; Fallowfield, Joshua, Sanders, Barrow; Barnes, McLaughlin; Kouhyar, Dyson, Hurst; John-Lewis

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Dawson; Iorfa, Ihiekwe, James; Palmer, Paterson, Bannan, Johnson; Windass; Gregory, Smith

SM words green background

We say: York City 1-4 Sheffield Wednesday

While Sheffield Wednesday are yet to strengthen their squad this summer, they will be keen to start their preparations for the new term off in the right way under their new boss and have the quality and depth to inflict a heavy defeat on the Minstermen.

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