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?