Barnsley kicked off their preparations for the new season on Wednesday evening with a 2-1 victory over Rochdale at the Crown Oil Arena.
First-half goals from Carlton Morris and Liam Kitching saw the Tykes pick up the win in what was Markus Schopp’s first match at the helm, having been confirmed as Valerien Ismael’s replacement at the end of June.
Barnsley famously finished fifth in the Championship last season but were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Swansea City in the semi-finals of the playoffs, meaning that it will be at least another year in the second tier.
Schopp’s team will also take on Watford in a pre-season friendly on July 31 before opening their 2021-22 Championship campaign away to Cardiff City on August 7.
The Tykes are then in EFL Cup action against Bolton Wanderers on August 10 before continuing their league season at home to Coventry City four days later, and it will be fascinating to see how the team perform next term, particularly without Alex Mowatt, who has joined West Bromwich Albion.
Sheffield Wednesday, meanwhile, were relegated from the Championship last season, having only picked up 41 points from 46 matches, which left them rooted to the bottom of the division.
The Owls will be looking to bounce back at the first time of asking, and they have shown positive signs in their last two pre-season matches, recording a 2-0 win over Chester and 1-0 victory over Alfreton Town.
Wednesday suffered a 3-1 loss to Celtic in their pre-season opener on July 7 but still have plenty of football to play this month, taking on West Brom, Wrexham and Port Vale in friendlies.
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Darren Moore’s side will then face Huddersfield Town in the first round of the EFL Cup at the start of August before beginning their League One campaign away to Charlton on August 7.
A number of players have left the Owls on free transfers this summer, but three new faces have arrived, and there are expected to be plenty more before the start of competitive action