POPULAR opinion suggests that the best time to face the bookmakers’ choice to lift the title is on the opening day.
A need for new signings to gel is one reason behind the theory, while if the team in question has just been relegated then there may still be a hangover from the previous season.
As Queens Park Rangers, who this week made Burnley striker Charlie Austin their latest expensive acquisition, tick both those boxes, maybe Sheffield Wednesday can capitalise on some rustiness on the part of Harry Redknapp’s side at Loftus Road today.
Dave Jones would, of course, love that to be the case but the Owls manager is also a realist and knows that his players could be in for a tough test.
Jones, who yesterday signed former Hull defender Kamil Zayatte, 28, who has been on trial at the club after spending the last two seasons at Turkish side Istanbul BB, said: “QPR are one of the favourites and they will definitely be up there.
“Just look at the squad they have got and the players. They have some big, big players in that team.
“But it is about how quickly they adapt to coming down. People often say it is the best time to play a team newly-relegated.
“It might be, as you might get them before they snap out of that sulking mode. But I don’t really know when the best time to play them will be. All I know is we are looking forward to it as we want to do well.”
Jones expects the division to be just as competitive this time around. He said: “Look at the three clubs who came down. They all need to go back and everyone at those clubs knows that.
“All three didn’t manage it last year. Now, all of a sudden, five clubs are in the division with much bigger wage bills than anyone else and far more money coming in. But they have to get it right because if they don’t then their wage bill will start to outstrip what is coming in.
“That is five clubs who have been in the Premier League within the last two years. Then there are Forest, Leicester and Watford who have spent some money. Leeds say they are going to have a go. That’s nine or 10 clubs all vying for a place in the Premier League.”