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Sunderland vs. Sheffield Wednesday: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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            Sunderland vs. Sheffield Wednesday: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

            As the curtain draws on the 2023/24 EFL Championship season, Sunderland AFC are set to host Sheffield Wednesday at the Stadium of Light this coming Saturday. It’s a match that carries a significant amount of weight for both clubs, albeit for very different reasons. For Sunderland, it’s a chance to end a season marred by inconsistency on a high, while for Sheffield Wednesday, the game is nothing short of a final battle for Championship survival.

            Date: 04/05/2024

            Kick-off time: 12:30

            Location: Stadium of Light

            Sunderland, positioned 15th in the league with 56 points from 45 games, have encountered a season that could be described as disappointing, particularly when reflecting on their previous campaign's optimism. Last season's 6th place finish and a near miss in the playoff semi-final had set a hopeful tone, but the current season has failed to deliver on those expectations. The Black Cats have seen considerable upheaval, with two managerial changes disrupting their rhythm and ultimately derailing their promotion aspirations.

            Interim manager Mike Dodds has been at the helm for the latter part of the season, steering the ship through turbulent waters. His brief tenure has been marked by an attempt to steady a side that has struggled for form and consistency. The club’s strategy in the transfer market, focusing on youthful prospects, has shown potential but also highlighted the pitfalls of inexperience. While some of the young talents have shone, the collective lack of Championship-hardened players has often been evident.

            With the season’s end in sight, Sunderland can potentially climb to 13th place but will not drop below 16th regardless of the weekend's results. The upcoming summer will be crucial for the club, which aims to bolster the squad with a few seasoned campaigners and appoint a manager capable of harnessing the young squad's potential.

            Sheffield Wednesday’s scenario presents a stark contrast. The Owls, sitting precariously in 20th place with 50 points, are teetering on the edge of a dramatic escape from relegation. Having ascended from League One, the club has faced a turbulent season marked by managerial upheaval and poor early form. The departure of Darren Moore prior to the season's start set a challenging tone, and the team's subsequent performance — one win in their first 17 league games — seemed to confirm fears of an immediate return to League One.

            However, the appointment of Danny Röhl in October marked a turning point. The new manager instigated a turnaround that saw Wednesday slowly claw their way out of the relegation mire. Their journey from the depths of the table to the brink of safety has been nothing short of arduous but is a testament to the resilience and tenacity within the squad.

            The significance of the final game cannot be overstated for Sheffield Wednesday. A single point would ensure another season in the Championship, providing a platform to stabilise and rebuild. Even in defeat, survival is still possible, provided that at least one of Birmingham City and Plymouth Argyle fail to win their respective matches. The stakes are incredibly high, and the pressure is palpable.

            In recent head-to-head encounters, Sunderland have had the upper hand over Sheffield Wednesday, winning three of the last five meetings. The Owls have managed just one victory in these fixtures, showcasing the challenges they’ve faced against Sunderland. However, given the high stakes, past results may bear little influence on the upcoming clash.

            This match is likely to be a tense affair, with both sides having so much to play for. For Sunderland, it’s about ending a tumultuous season on a positive note and laying the groundwork for the next campaign. For Sheffield Wednesday, it is about survival, about securing a future in the Championship against the odds.

            Both teams will approach the game with different mindsets, but the shared urgency will undoubtedly make for a compelling encounter. Fans can expect a match charged with emotion and intensity, as both Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday strive to achieve their respective goals.

            Sheffield Wednesday To Win

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            Sheffield Wednesday To Win @ 15/8
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            Both Teams To Score

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            Sheffield Wednesday To Win Either Half

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            Sheffield Wednesday To Win Either Half @ 1/1
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            Team News

            Sunderland Team News:

            The Black Cats have a number of injury absentees here with Dan Neil, Jenson Seelt, Jay Matete, Nazariy Rusyn and Niall Huggins all set to miss out, while left-back Dennis Cirkin is a major doubt.

            Patrick Roberts could come into the starting lineup with a couple of changes likely to be made following the weekend's game with Watford.

            Sheffield Wednesday Team News:

            Ian Poveda and Juan Delgado are The Owls' only injury concerns heading into this one as they boast a pretty clean bill of health.

            The overwhelming likelihood is that Danny Röhl will stick with the same side that started the game against West Bromwich Albion last time out.

            Form Guide

            Sunderland's form is pretty shoddy on the whole as they come into this game with just one win in their last five games. Most recently, the Black Cats fell to a weak 1-0 defeat away at Watford, a result that followed another meek 0-1 defeat, this time on home soil at the hands of Millwall.

            They did, though, claim a very impressive 1-0 win away at then 5th-placed West Bromwich Albion prior to that, where Pierre Ekwah's goal on the stroke of half-time was enough to get the job done. That result also followed a valiant 0-0 draw away at Leeds United where Sunderland displayed some impressive defensive resolve. Prior to that game was another 0-0 draw, this time against Bristol City.

            Sunderland have been better on the road than they have in front of their own fans in recent games, with the Black Cats having failed to win any of their last five games on home soil, losing three of those.

            In total contrast, Sheffield Wednesday are on fire at the minute as they come into this game unbeaten in their last five outings, winning three of those. Most recently, the Owls stormed to a 3-0 win over then 5th-placed West Bromwich Albion, with goals from Anthony Musaba, Ike Ugbo and Josh Windass enough to get the job done.

            Prior to that, goals from Windass and Marvin Johnson (on top of an own goal) saw Wednesday win 3-1 away at Blackburn Rovers, which came after a 1-1 draw with Stoke City and a 2-2 draw with Norwich City, both of which were preceded by a 2-0 win away at Queens Park Rangers.

            The Owls have been especially strong on the road of late, as they enter this game having won three of their last five games away from home, a better rate than they've managed at Hillsborough.

            Footy Accumulators Prediction

            To put it bluntly, we fancy the Owls to win this one. They're in better form than Sunderland and they have much more to play for than the Black Cats. On top of that, they're strong away from home while Sunderland have been pretty awful at the Stadium of Light recently. Sheffield Wednesday are riding a lot of momentum coming into this game so we think they'll cap off their great escape in style. Sunderland 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday.

            Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

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