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OUR 2016-17 CHAMPIONSHIP OPPONENTS: PART FIVE

28 June 2016

In-focus: our rivals for the 2016-17 season

WITH the 2016-17 Sky Bet Championship fixtures released last week, we profile the teams Norwich City will face over the course of the season. Here, we bring you the fifth and final instalment. 

ROTHERHAM UNITED

Manager: Alan Stubbs  
Home: AESSEAL New York Stadium
2015-16: 21st
Twitter: @OfficialRUFC

Fact
: Last season, newly-appointed Rotherham manager Alan Stubbs guided Hibernian to their first Scottish Cup triumph in 114 years.

Rotherham called on the services of veteran manager Neil Warnock to save their skins in the Sky Bet Championship last season.

Warnock took over from Neil Redfearn in February with the Millers embedded in the relegation zone, but an 11-match unbeaten run that included a thumping 4-0 win over direct rivals MK Dons secured them a third consecutive term in the second tier.



Alan Stubbs is the man entrusted with continuing Warnock's progress, having joined from Hibernian at the beginning of June - but he will have to do without striker Matt Derbyshire, who turned down a new deal with the Yorkshire outfit to join Omonia Nicosia.

Stubbs still feels they can be ambitious in their targets, however, adding on his appointment: "Ultimately, the aim has to be to get into the Premier League otherwise there is no point."

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

Manager: Carlos Carvalhal
Home: Hillsborough
2015-16: 6th 
Twitter: @swfc

Fact
: The Club will celebrate its 150th anniversary in the coming season, having been formed in 1867.

Sheffield Wednesday will be the season's first visitors to Carrow Road for the televised game on Saturday, August 13.

Carlos Carvalhal's side are expected to be strong contenders for promotion after missing out on a Premier League place last year with their heartbreaking play-off final defeat to Hull City.



They had finished in the last play-off position of sixth before defeating third-placed Brighton & Hove Albion in the semi-final, but the head-to-head with their Yorkshire rivals proved one step too far.

Gary Hooper is likely to be a key man for the Owls once again this season, having joined on a permanent deal from City in January following a successful loan spell.

WIGAN ATHLETIC 

Manager: Gary Caldwell   
Home: DW Stadium
2015-16: 1st (League One) 
Twitter: @LaticsOfficial

Fact
: Wigan chairman David Sharpe was appointed to the role in March 2015 at the age of just 23, and oversaw a promotion in his first full season at the helm.

Wigan required just one season to secure their spot back in the Sky Bet Championship as they lifted the League One title in May.

The Latics' strength-in-depth told in the end as they gathered a winning momentum over the second half of the campaign to finish two points clear of nearest rivals Burton Albion.



Stephen Warnock and Dan Burn have joined to strengthen in defensive areas, while Caldwell has also swooped for Colchester United's Player of the Year from 2015-16 - 21-year-old midfielder Alex Gilbey.

Gary Caldwell will enter his second full season in charge with the target of re-establishing his team at this level, and the former Scotland international has already made moves in the transfer market to bolster his squad.

WOLVES

Manager: Kenny Jackett  
Home: Molineux
2015-16: 14th
Twitter: @OfficialWolves

Fact: City met Wolves on the opening day of the 2014-15 season, with Kenny Jackett's side claiming a 1-0 win at Molineux.

Wolves had an early boost in their preparations as long-term absentees Nouha Dicko and Mike Williamson returned to training with the rest of the squad this week.

Manager Kenny Jackett is retaining optimism for the season ahead, telling reporters: "We're looking forward to it. It’s good to see a few people back out of the treatment room. It’s a young, enthusiastic, hard-working group."



A significant improvement on their 14th-place finish will be expected this time around, and they start their campaign with a trip to Rotherham United.

Last year was a disappointing one for a team who had harbourned hopes of a promotion challenge but ultimately never recovered from an opening league sequence of just two victories from their first eight matches.


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