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Sunderland In The Play-Offs: Key Stats & Insights

The Season So Far

The 2021/22 season was a fantastic one for Sunderland, as the Black Cats ended their four-year spell in League One via a 2-0 play-off final victory over Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley Stadium after defeating Sheffield Wednesday over two legs in the semi-finals.

This campaign was one where fans of the Stadium of Light club were hoping for a positive finish, however, nobody could’ve predicted what was about to come. Alex Neil, the man who led them to promotion last campaign left the club for Stoke City after just six matches, with Tony Mowbray stepping in.

Mowbray has been an inspired choice for the Black Cats, having led them to sixth place in the division, winning 17 and drawing 14 of his 43 matches in charge of the club across all competitions.

Sunderland come into the play-offs as one of the most in-form sides in the Championship, going unbeaten in their last nine matches, while winning four of their last six, including that 3-0 win at Preston North End on the final day of the season, where Blackburn Rovers 4-3 win at Millwall saw them leapfrog the latter in the table to qualify.

Since the reformation of the Football League at the start of the 2004/05 season, just two sides have achieved back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League, in the shapes of Norwich (2009-11) and Southampton (2010-12). Could Sunderland potentially add to this exclusive list?

Header logoChampionship

PosClubPWDLGDPTS
5
Team logoCoventry
46181612+1270
6
Team logoSunderland
46181513+1369
7
Team logoBlackburn
4620917-269
Last updated 19/06/2024

Schedule

Following their sixth-place finish, Sunderland have qualified for the Championship play-offs, where they’ll face third in the table Luton Town in a two-legged tie where the aggregate scoreline will decide who progresses through to the final. It must be noted, that there are no away goal rules, meaning that a draw would see the tie go to extra time or penalties should the scores be level.

13th May 17:30 pm Kick-off - Sunderland vs Luton Town

16th May 20:00 pm Kick-off - Luton Town vs Sunderland

Play-off Final: 27th May - 16:45 pm Kick-off

Sunderland Promotion Odds

At the start of the season, Betfair had priced Sunderland at 7/1 to be promoted to the Premier League, since then, the odds have been halved to 7/2 to see the Black Cats play top-flight football for the first time since 2016/17.

In their two meetings with Luton Town this season, both matches have resulted in 1-1 draws, of which Sunderland have scored late equalisers in each of them, with Elliot Embleton scoring in the 78th minute at Kenilworth Road back in October, while Manchester United loanee Amad Diallo rescued a point in the home match in March via an 86th-minute penalty.

In terms of their potential play-off final opponents, Sunderland lost 1-0 in the Tees-Wear derby against Middlesbrough on 5th September, but, ran out as 2-0 winners at the Stadium of Light against their local rivals thanks to goals from Ross Stewart and Diallo. As far as matches with Coventry City go, they drew 1-1 with the Sky Blues on the opening day of the season before suffering a 2-1 away defeat back in late February.

Key Personnel

Ivory Coast winger, Diallo, has arguably been Sunderland’s most impressive performer this season, as the 20-year-old is their top scorer with 13 goals and three assists in 37 Championship outings this campaign, seeing rumours that he will be part of Man United’s pre-season plans ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Jack Clarke has also had a sensational season, as the former Leeds United man has managed 20 goal contributions across 45 matches, helping to fill the void that has been left by Stewart’s long-term injury.

Youth academy product Anthony Patterson is the only Black Cats player to have played all 46 matches. The 22-year-old has impressed in what is his first full season of regular football at the club, managing 14 clean sheets.

On top of this, Patrick Roberts, Luke O’Nien Danny Batth, Alex Pritchard and Dan Niel have all played key roles and feature regularly for Sunderland in their preferred 4-2-2-3-1 formation.

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