Pompey travel to Hillsborough to kick off their 2022/23 campaign against the Owls, who many are tipping for a title challenge this season.
Wednesday were beaten in the play-offs by Sunderland last term but will be aiming for the automatic promotion places this time around while today’s visitors would no doubt be happy with a top six finish in what is a competitive division.
A victory against Darren Moore’s side in Sheffield would be the perfect way to start and allow them to show the rest of the teams competing for League One promotion that they’re not to be underestimated.
Cowley is under no illusions of just how difficult the trip to Hillsborough will be, however, but has told BBC Radio Solent he feels like it’s the perfect way to start the new season.
“As tough as can be,” said the Pompey boss when asked how hard today’s game was. “I think Sheffield Wednesday had the best home record in the division last year.
“They have an incredible team for League One. You’ve only got to look at the players that didn’t start the game against Wigan on Saturday and look at the depth of their squad and they’re still adding to it.
“They’ve got players that are well beyond the level, that’s obvious to see, but a great challenge for us and we wouldn’t have wanted this any other way.
“I think this is the perfect game for us, where we’re at. We are a work in progress for sure but we’re going to get some instant feedback on Saturday because you always get that when you play against good teams.
“We’re really excited for the challenges that a packed Hillsborough will bring.”
Portsmouth were beaten 4-1 away at Wednesday back in April but earned a goalless draw in the reverse fixture at Fratton Park in December.
Pompey fans would likely prefer an easier game to start the new season but it’s clear that Cowley is relishing the challenge that a trip to Hillsborough will bring.
There is no denying the quality in Wednesday’s ranks and Moore has strengthened in what has been a hugely impressive summer window.
But Cowley’s side will relish the underdogs tag and any sort of result from today’s game will be seen as a victory for them.
They’re not going to roll over and will be determined to make things as difficult as possible for the Owls from 3pm this afternoon.