Wednesday winless after eight (W0-D2-L6)
Sunderland have W4-D1-L1 of late
Black Cats appeal in Asian Handicap market
Sheffield Wednesday 3.211/5 boss Xisco Munoz is feeling the heat after overseeing the Owls' eight-game winless start to the Championship campaign (W0-D2-L6). The newly-promoted outfit were beaten 3-0 at Swansea on Saturday, with many supporters chanting for the Spaniard to resign, whilst also protesting against Dejphon Chansiri's ownership of the club.
Wednesday are the only second-tier club without a victory thus far and the club are enduring their worst start to a league campaign since 1999/2000. Nevertheless, Munoz has reiterated his committed to turning the Owls' fortunes around and may opt for changes on Friday with both Josh Windass and Dominic Iorfa fit enough to start after recent injuries.
Sunderland 2.447/5 six-match unbeaten run ended abruptly on Sunday as Cardiff scored from a late set-piece to snatch all three points at the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats had controlled possession for much of the game and had been rarely troubled by the visitors until Mark McGuinness stooped to meet a late corner for the Bluebirds.
Manager Tony Mowbray insisted there were positives despite a three-game winning streak being halted, saying: "I don't think we should be too disappointed with the performance; we gave it a real go. It felt like we dominated and should have won, but they found a way. We had a lot of moments where with a better decision or a bit of quality we'd have scored."
Pierre Ekwah, Dennis Cirkin and Bradley Dack all missed the match due to injuries, whilst summer signings Nazariy Rusyn, Adil Aouchiche, Jenson Seelt, Nectarios Triantis and Hemir all started featured for the U21s on Monday evening and will hope to be involved in Friday night's travelling squad to Hillsborough.
It's been a miserable start to life back in the Championship for Sheffield Wednesday and the Owls are easily opposed here. Xisco Munoz's winless outfit have scored just five goals across their opening eight encounters, generating a measly Expected Goals (xG) output of 0.73 xG per-game - the second-worst tally in the division.
The hosts have fired blanks in four of their past six league fixtures, and failed to score in both home contests against the current top-half - both Ipswich and Preston departed with 1-0 victories, suggesting high-flying Sunderland should be well capable of departing with at least a share of the Hillsborough spoils.
Sunderland have lost all three of their dates against the current top-half, though Tony Mowbray's men boast a W4-D1-L0 return against the rest of the division, scoring 13 goals in that five-game sample. The Black Cats have returned a 1.70 xG per-game average in their four previous away days and sit an impressive fifth in the current xG rankings.
The Wearsiders hold plenty of appeal as 2.447/5 shots coming into Friday's fixture, but we can keep the draw onside by backing Sunderland 0 in the Asian Handicap market at 1.758/11. Working in the same way as the Draw No Bet market, we'll see our stake returned should the match end all-square, receiving a full pay-out if the away side takes top honours.