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Match Preview: Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday - all the build-up ahead of kick-off!

It’s that time again as we enter the play-offs once again, this time it’s Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-final and here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off in the first-leg!

Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

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Friday 6th May 2022

Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday

Sky Bet League One

Play-Off Semi-Final - First-Leg

Stadium of Light

Kick-Off: 19:45

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets available here.

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via Sky Sports.

Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)

Don’t forget to follow the blow-by-blow account of the game on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out the player ratings after the full-time whistle at!

The build-up...

Yes, we’re here once again, the League One play-offs ladies and gentlemen. It’s our fourth year in the third tier and our third crack at the extension to the domestic season. It’s becoming a regular date in the Sunderland supporter calendar.

It’s also our seventh attempt at any sort of play-offs and we are yet to run out winners (let’s not count 1990 as a success as were well beaten by Swindon Town), and it’s maybe about time we did something about it.

It’s also the first time we have made the play-offs in League One that we seem to be happy to be taking part in, which maybe reflects in the ticket sales as it steadily creeps closer to becoming a sell-out at the Stadium of Light.

Another reason for the renewed optimism is the form that Alex Neil’s side found towards the business end of the season. It’s a day short of 11 weeks since The Lads were on the losing side, where a run of 13 without defeat has followed.

And it’s been a run based on a solid foundation with only seven goals conceded in that unbeaten run, where we have conceded more than one goal on only one occasion. We also boast the second best home record in the division this season, only behind tonight’s opponents, with 16 victories and four defeats at the Stadium of Light.

We’re going into these play-offs as one of the in-form sides, it’s just a question of whether or not we can hold our nerve.

Sunderland v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League 1
Alex Neil
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Darren Moore had a mess to sort out at Hillsborough in the summer after they dropped from the Championship on the final day of last season. It was a slow process that saw ten draws in the first half of the season, which left them hanging onto the coattails of the play-offs.

But since the turn of the year, they have turned those draws into wins as a run of six wins in the final eight games confirmed their place in the play-offs. But, similar to ourselves, they aren’t blowing sides away and are finding form in patches where the final game of the season against Portsmouth was a prime example.

The two games between the two sides over the course of the season give an indication of how the season has been a story of blowing hot and cold for both sides. We suffered a 3-0 defeat at Hillsborough in November and repaid them by winning 5-0 on home soil just before the New Year. Both teams seem to have settled into a rhythm that makes them more difficult to beat than the sides that met just over four months ago.

Wednesday are desperate to return to the Championship at the first time of asking, and with the best record in the division on home soil, they might just be happy to shut is out tonight and go into the second-leg at Hillsborough on level terms.

Sheffield Wednesday v Crewe Alexandra - Sky Bet League One - Hillsborough
Darren Moore
Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images

League One Form...

Sunderland home form...

Sheffield Wednesday away form...

The betting...

The bookies are struggling to split the two sides with Sunderland at 8/5 to take a lead into the second-leg, with Wednesday at 7/4 and the draw 11/5.

As a result, the shortest odds for a correct score is 5/1 for a 1-1 draw, followed by 7/1 for a tight 1-0 win for The Lads and not far behind, a Wednesday win via the only goal of the game is 15/2.

Head to head...

(All competitions at Roker Park & the Stadium of Light)

  • Sunderland wins: 33
  • Draws: 11
  • Sheffield Wednesday wins: 18
  • Sunderland goals: 120
  • Sheffield Wednesday goals: 71

Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light

Thursday 30th December 2021

Sky Bet League One

Stadium of Light

Sunderland 5-0 Sheffield Wednesday

[Stewart 12’, 36, 58’, Doyle 40’, Kimpioka 75’]

Sunderland: Hoffman, Wright, Flanagan, Doyle, Dajaku (Alves), Evans, Neil (Kimpioka), Gooch, Embleton, Pritchard (Cirkin), Stewart Substitutes not used: Burge, Hume, Younger, Harris

Sheffield Wednesday: Peacock-Farrell, Hunt, Mendez-Laing, Palmer, Dunkley (Brennan), Johnson, Wing, Bannan, Gregory (Adeniran), Paterson, Dele-Bashiru (Corbeanu) Substitutes not used: Wildsmith, Shodipo, Sow, Berahino

Attendance: 34,652

Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet League One
Ross Stewart scoring the last time the two sides met at the Stadium of Light back in December
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Played for both...

Chris Turner

Sheffield-born Turner began his career at Sheffield Wednesday in the 1970s and made over 100 appearances for the Owls before he joined Sunderland for around £80,000 in 1979. Turner went on to make 224 appearances for The Lads before signing for Manchester United in 1985 for £275,000.

Turner spent three years at Old Trafford until he returned to Hillsborough for a second spell in 1988 before finishing his career at Leyton Orient in 1994 to become manager of Orient and went on to manage Hartlepool United, Sheffield Wednesday and Stockport County.

Chris Turner Sunderland 1979
Chris Turner
Photo by Danny Brannigan/Hulton Archive

Emerson Thome

The Brazilian signed for Sheffield Wednesday from Benfica in 1997 and spent two years at Hillsborough before Chelsea took him to the capital for around £3million.

Only a year later Peter Reid paid around £4 million to bring him to the Stadium of Light but he would suffer from injuries during his time at Sunderland and because we would have to pay Chelsea a fairly significant sum on his 50th appearance, he would be stuck on 49 until leaving for Bolton in 2003.

Alan Shearer Emerson Thome
Emerson Thome


Pause for thought


Sunderland are set for a massive summer after the inevitable sacking of Michael Beale!

Fan Letters: “The distraction of Beale is behind us”

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