Sheffield Wednesday have been out of the top-flight for some time now and perhaps their best strategy would have been to build up a head of steam over a number of seasons and then launch a sustained challenge for promotion. This is exactly what they have been doing and it is starting to pay-off at long last.
Wednesday lost last season's play-off finals 1-0 against Hull City and whilst it was something of a surprise that they actually made it so close to the Premier League on that occasion, few would be so shocked to see them finish in the top six at the end of this campaign.
As things stand we certainly wouldn't fancy the Owls' chances of catching either Brighton or Newcastle United given that they sit eleven points adrift of the top two, however should Carlos Carvalhal's men continue to churn out the decent results which they have been of late then we're of the opinion that they could go all the way this season via the play-offs.
Wednesday have triumphed in all but one of their last five outings, their only defeat being to fellow promotion hopefuls Reading. Scottish international Steven Fletcher scored in three of those games and he will be hopeful of adding to that when he makes the journey to the home of the arch-rivals of his previous employers Sunderland.
Newcastle United have given an excellent account of themselves in the Championship with Rafael Benitez doing a great job of steering them back towards the Premier League, however the Magpies have slipped up a couple of times already this season. Nevertheless they look increasingly certain to be enjoying automatic promotion at the close of play and they will be confident of continuing their march towards the Championship title with a win on home turf on Boxing Day.
Clearly the Magpies are a short price at 7/10 with Coral to beat Sheffield Wednesday and they will be extremely difficult to oppose, however we believe that they are far from certainties against a solid Owls side and the real value perhaps lies in backing both teams to score at 6/5 with Betfair in what could conceivably be a Premier League fixture in 2017/18.
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