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League One Play-Off Final: Barnsley vs Sheffield Wednesday Key Stats, Insights & Markets

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League One Play-Off Final: Barnsley vs Sheffield Wednesday Key Stats, Insights & Markets

League One Play-off final

On Monday, Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday meet in what will be a hotly contested Yorkshire derby in the League One play-off final.

Both of these teams were expected to be in contention for automatic promotion at the start of the season, of which the Owls were, finishing in third place with 96 points to their name, two behind second-placed Ipswich Town.

Darren Moore's side would hold the record for the highest-ever points tally in English Football League history to not have earned promotion if they fall short in the final, with city rivals Sheffield United holding this record back in the 2011/12 season with 90 points in League One.

On the other hand, Barnsley finished ten points behind Wednesday in the regular season which is a good response in general having been relegated from the Championship without a fight last campaign, having won just six of their 46 matches, while accruing just 30 points.

Header logoLeague 1

PosClubPWDLGDPTS
3
Team logoSheff Wed
4628126+4496
4
Team logoBarnsley
4626812+3386
5
Team logoBolton
46231211+2681
Last updated 16/04/2024

Their Seasons So Far

Barnsley

Barnsley started the season under new management, with ex-Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff taking over at the helm of the Oakwell club. However, despite their decent points tally, the season started in a slow fashion, with the Tykes winning just six of their opening 15 League One matches, seeing them sit on 21 points.

However, Barnsley’s form would soon change for the better, as following a 2-0 victory against Forest Green Rovers on 29th October, the Tykes would go on an outstanding run of form between then and the play-off semi-finals, winning 20 and drawing five of their next 30 matches, culminating in their fourth-place finish.

The Tykes faced a difficult test in the League One play-off semi-finals, facing Bolton Wanderers under the management of Ian Evatt, who was aiming for three promotions in four seasons as a manager. However, they overcame their opponents via a 2-1 aggregate scoreline thanks to a Liam Kitching goal in the second leg to advance to the final.

Sheffield Wednesday

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s season has been filled with drama in the past couple of months, as having looked a certainty for automatic promotion in early March, having amassed 77 points from their first 34 matches, a poor run of form would derail the Owls automatic chances, as they would win just one of their next eight matches, before finishing the campaign with four wins in a row heading into the play-off semi-finals against Peterborough.

In the first-leg of the play-off semi-finals, nothing went to plan for Moore’s side, having been thrashed 4-0 at London Road and set for another season in English football’s third-tier, however, the former West Brom manager inspired his side to a dramatic 5-1 win at Hillsborough after extra time, seeing the score tied at 5-5 on aggregate.

Wednesday managed to hold their nerve and come out on top in the penalty shootout by a 5-3 scoreline, sealing the biggest comeback in play-offs history. Surely, matches like this indicated that it could well be their year to be promoted back to the Championship?

Barnsley Odds

Promotion Odds

Barnsley come in at 5/4 to emerge victorious as 2022/23 League One play-off final winners.

This may surprise a few, with the Tykes currently having a better head-to-head record over the Owls in the current campaign, beating Wednesday 2-0 at Hillsborough back in September, as well as 4-2 at Oakwell in late March.

Goalscorer Odds

Devante Cole is Barnsley’s top scorer so far this season with 16 goals in 52 appearances, the former Manchester City youngster is priced at 7/1 to score first or last.

James Norwood actually has the Tykes' best record when it comes to goals per minute out of any of their players that have scored ten or more goals, with his 12 goals in 47 matches seeing the former Tranmere Rovers man average a goal every 214 minutes. Norwood is priced at 7/1 to score first or last.

Former Morecambe midfielder Adam Phillips has also had a productive campaign, with 19 goal contributions in 40 games. The 25-year-old is priced at 2/1 to score or assist in the play-off final.

Card Markets

Kitching has the most yellow cards of any Barnsley player this campaign, having received a total of 14 cautions in 52 appearances across all competitions, while Danish centre-back, Mads Juel Andersen has been shown 12 yellow cards (50 games), the same amount as Luca Connell (47 appearances).

Sheffield Wednesday Odds

Promotion Odds

The Owls were priced at 5/1 to win League One at the start of the season and are now at 4/7 to be promoted back to the Championship via the League One play-off final.

Many will feel as though Wednesday’s victory over Peterborough will give them enough confidence and belief to get over the line on Monday.

Goalscorer Odds

Michael Smith will provide Wednesday’s biggest goal threat, having scored 20 goals and created eight assists in 47 matches since joining the Owls from Rotherham United last summer. The 31-year-old is priced at 5/1 to score first or last.

Meanwhile, Josh Windass is also having a good season, scoring 15 and creating seven assists, seeing the ex-Rangers midfielder priced at 6/5 to score or assist in the play-off final.

Card Markets

Play-off semi-finals hero, Liam Palmer has received nine yellow cards this season in 46 league appearances, with only Will Vaulks being ahead of the 31-year-old right-back in terms of cautions with ten yellow cards in 53 matches across all competitions.

Central defender, Michael Ihiekwe, is a player to keep an eye out for in the yellow cards market, as the 30-year-old started in both of the play-off semi-finals legs and has been shown eight yellow cards in 22 League One appearances during the 2022/23 season.

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