Sheffield Wednesday won promotion to the second tier in dramatic fashion last season, with Josh Windass scoring a 123rd-minute winner in the playoff final at Wembley, fresh off the back of an enthralling semi-final against Peterborough United.
However, Wednesday’s start to life back in the second tier has been less than ideal, given that they are the only club in the division yet to pick up a point, which leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.
New manager Xisco Munoz, who replaced Darren Moore in the summer, has lost his first four games in the Championship, but he may feel his side should have taken more, having lost three of those games by a one-goal margin.
On the opening day of the campaign, the Owls fell victim to a late goal at home against Southampton, with Che Adams striking in the 87th minute to ensure the Saints took all three points, and they were cruelly robbed of another point last time out.
In an away trip to Cardiff City, Sheffield Wednesday were on course to draw the game after Barry Bannan levelled things up in the 76th minute, but Ryan Wintle’s 98th-minute penalty secured a 2-1 dramatic victory for the hosts.
Wednesday will be looking for some respite in the EFL Cup, having reached this stage of the competition by defeating League Two Stockport County in a penalty shootout, and they are set to take on another side plying their trade two divisions below them.
Mansfield Town narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season, finishing in eighth place, so they will be looking to right the wrongs from last season by making a promotion push this time around, and they have made a decent start.
The Stags are undefeated in the fourth tier, winning two and drawing three of their opening five games, meaning they are currently sitting pretty in a playoff position, just one point off the automatic promotion spots.
Nigel Clough’s side have been very impressive on home soil so far this season, winning all three of their home matches in all competitions, including the game against Grimsby Town in the EFL Cup at the beginning of August to reach this stage of the competition.
Mansfield ran out 3-2 winners against potential promotion-rivals Stockport last time out, with Davis Keillor-Dunn bagging a brace, but they are set for a much tougher test on Tuesday, as they look to win on the road for the first time this season, against Championship opposition.