Potential stalemate at the Stadium of Light

Clash of the League One Titans commences on Friday evening when Sheffield Wednesday travel to Sunderland for the first leg of their play-off semi final.

The Black Cats have been unsuccessful in the third tier play-offs in 2018/19 and 2020/21 previously, but Alex Neil brings experience of winning promotion to the Premier League with Norwich City via the tense format.

Sunderland and Wednesday should be nowhere near League One, but the Owls suffered relegation from the Championship last season after being deducted six points, while the Black Cats fell straight through to the third tier in 2017/18.


Both sides have crucial players injured in Nathan Broadhead and Barry Bannan, the latter was in the final three nominations for League One Player of the Season.

Broadhead has come back into the side in great form in the last couple of months, and truth be told, his impact has been so important that Sunderland may not have finished inside the play-offs without him.

Bannan is arguably more influential but, in my opinion, more replaceable given the depth of quality in the Owls’ squad.

Massimo Luongo and George Byers have both had outstanding second halves to the season and could make decisive contributions in this tie.

Ross Stewart, or the Lochness Drogba, has dropped off significantly in terms of goalscoring this season, and was pipped to the golden boot by Will Keane on Saturday.

Alex Neil has opted for experience over youth as far as getting Sunderland into the play-offs was concerned, so it will be interesting if we see more minutes for sought after youngster Dan Neil, with the carrot of Championship.


Unders entices me, the Stadium of Light will be rocking, and that should spur Sunderland, but I can see the two three at the back systems cancelling each other a touch.

Both sides could be weakened, but Aiden McGeady could make his long awaited return for the Black Cats.

  • Sunderland have scored in eight of ten.

  • Sunderland have conceded in five of ten.

  • Sunderland have seen both teams score in five of ten.

  • Sunderland have seen over 2.5 goals in four of ten.

  • Wednesday have scored in eight of ten.

  • Wednesday have conceded in eight of ten.

  • Wednesday have seen both teams score in seven of ten.

  • Wednesday have seen over 2.5 goals in five of ten.

I lean towards the Owls, hard to justify why they are narrow outsiders yet favourites to win promotion with the bookmakers.

Sunderland - Sheffield Wednesday Betting Tip

Under 2.25 Asian goals with bet365 at odds of 24/25 or 1.96.

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