Sheffield Wednesday man's head-to-head battle could be the key in Sunderland play-off scrap

There’ll be no shortage of big names on display when Sheffield Wednesday take on Sunderland over two legs for a place in the League One play-off final.

Thursday, 5th May 2022, 4:30 pm
Updated Friday, 6th May 2022, 7:38 am

That’s regardless of the condition of a will-they-won’t-they pairing in Owls skipper Barry Bannan and Sunderland’s Everton loanee striker Nathan Broadhead, neither of whom have been confirmed fit for Friday evening’s clash at the Stadium of Light.

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Former Sheffield Wednesday skipper Lee Bullen's message to Barry Bannan as Owls ...

But both sides boast players who have come into form at just the right time, none more so than Wednesday striker Lee Gregory.

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Sheffield Wednesday's in-form striker Lee Gregory.

Signed a free from Stoke City – as the song goes – the 33-year-old has eight goals in his last eight matches and has given the Owls attack a fresh dimension with his movement and hold-up ability.

If he is to win the head-to-head match-up against Sunderland’s 24-goal striker Ross Stewart over the two legs, it will go a long way to ensuring Wednesday come out on top and book themselves a place in the final against either MK Dons or Wycombe Wanderers.

Gregory has been a constant in the Owls starting line-up since a return from a toe injury March 19, a period that has seen the Owls claim six wins and launch themselves into a fourth place finish.

“Greggers has been fantastic,” the forward’s Owls teammate Liam Palmer told The Star in the lead-up to the first leg.

“How he uses his body and then there’s his finishing and goalscoring as well. Some of the goals he has scored, all different types of goals as well; head, left foot and right foot.

“He can score from inside and outside the box – though he doesn’t get too many outside – he’s confident and his all-round play has been excellent.

“That period of the season when he broke his toe, that was a big miss for us because he is a big part of how we like to play. He takes the pressure off because we know if we can get the ball into him he will look after it and make it really uncomfortable for the opposition defenders.

“He’s been brilliant, especially over the last two or three months.”