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League One

Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final: Sunderland v Wycombe - All you need to know

20 May 2022

What a weekend we have in store with the first of the Sky Bet Play-Off Finals on the horizon!

A place in next season's Sky Bet Championship is on the line when Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers meet on Saturday.

Former Premier League Club Sunderland are respective giants in the third tier and will be looking to end a four-year stay in Sky Bet League One, while Wycombe will look to continue their habit of beating the odds by making an instant return to the Championship.

Here's everything you need to know before Saturday's showpiece:

When and where is the Final taking place?

The Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final will be contested between Sunderland AFC and Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley Stadium, with kick-off between the two teams at the National Stadium at 3pm on Saturday, 21 May.

The Black Cats will be housed in the west side of Wembley, while the Chairboys will be located in the east side of the home of football.

How can I follow it?

The Final will be shown live on Sky Sports Football, with viewers able to tune in for coverage from 2pm.

Live updates from the showpiece can also be found on the EFL's official social media channels by following @SkyBetLeagueOne on Twitter, @theEFL on Facebook and @EFL on Instagram. You can join in by using the hashtag #EFLPlayOffs.

What have the Managers said?

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth:

“He’s [Alex Neil] done a brilliant job. He’s got some good players and it’s a tough job, Sunderland.

"I was publicly linked with that job a few years ago and it really is a tough, tough job when you find out just how big that club can be. They are probably the biggest Club outside the Premier League.

"So for us to be playing them in a Final is just phenomenal, and the job he has done so far has been fantastic."

Sunderland head coach Alex Neil:

"They're a really difficult team to play against. They're difficult to beat. The one thing they've got, which is a great trait in any team, is that they don't really need to play well to be dangerous.

"So even if you play well against them, they're the kind of team that can lull you into a false sense that you're doing well and then they can damage you.

"So we know we're going to have to be at our very best. We have to concentrate and strike that good balance of being defensively solid and carry a threat going the other way."

What are the figures behind the game?

Here are some of the key statistics ahead of the Final:

25 Striker Stewart is Sunderland’s leading marksman this season, with 25 goals and counting.

44,742 The Stadium of Light saw a record EFL Play-Off attendance in Sunderland’s opening leg against the Owls.

Boss Neil has taken charge of nine Play-Off matches with Hamilton Academical, Norwich City and Sunderland, losing only once.

15 The Mackems are 15 unbeaten heading into the Final.

433 The amount of days since the Black Cats’ last Wembley win in the Papa Johns Trophy 2021.

500 Ainsworth took charge of his 500th game for Wanderers in a 3-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.

The Chairboys boss is looking to become the first Manager to lead the same side to two promotions via the third-tier Play-Offs.

18 The number of clean sheets kept by stopper David Stockdale to jointly claim the division’s Golden Glove.

11 Wycombe will become Adebayo Akinfenwa’s 11th and Final EFL Club, before hanging up his boots after the Final.

28 Wanderers have taken 28 points from a possible 36 since the beginning of March.

How does Sunderland and Wycombe's Play-Off history look?

Sunderland have contested three EFL Play-Off finals to date and have yet to taste victory. However, the Mackems have enjoyed better luck in other competitions, paying visits to the National Stadium in the FA Cup, winning twice in 1937 and 1973, the League Cup and the Papa Johns Trophy, which the Black Cats got their hands on last year.

Take a look at Sunderland's previous Play-Off Finals:

2019 Sunderland 1-2 Charlton Athletic League One Play-Off Final
1998 Sunderland 4-4 Charlton Athletic (6-7 on penalties) First Division Play-Off Final
1990 Sunderland 0-1 Swindon Town* Second Division Play-Off Final

*Sunderland were promoted after Swindon were punished for financial misdemeanours.


Similarly, this weekend marks the Chairboys' fourth appearance in a Play-Off Final, having made the Semi-Finals on two further occasions but failing to make it to the showpiece. Wanderers paid a visit to Wembley in 2020 but were forced to play the occasion behind closed doors as a result of the pandemic.

2020 Oxford United 1-2 Wycombe Wanderers League One Play-Off Final
2015 Wycombe Wanderers 1-1 Southend United (6-7 on penalties) League Two Play-Off Final
1994 Wycombe Wanderers 4-2 Preston North End Third Division Play-Off Final


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