Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland: What are the rules in a play-off? Do away goals count? Owls penalty record

There’ll be a tense atmosphere tonight at Hillsborough as Sheffield Wednesday take on Sunderland for a place in the League One play-off final at Wembley.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 7:44 am

The match kicks off at 19:45 and will be screened live on Sky Sports.

But what are the permutations, rules and what happens if it all stays level?

What’s the situation as we have it?

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Sheffield Wednesday substitute Josh Windass takes on Sunderland's Danny Batth in the first leg at the Stadium of Light.

Wycombe Wanderers beat MK Dons in the other play-off semi-final on Sunday night to book their place at Wembley. They await either Sheffield Wednesday or Sunderland.

Sunderland are a goal to the good after a 1-0 win over the Owls at the Stadium of Light on Friday evening.

But it is likely to be a totally different game at Hillsborough as the Wednesday support make their voices heard.

So, what do Wednesday need to do tonight to get through?

The play-off semi-finals are decided on aggregate scoreline so simply enough, they need to end the tie with more goals over the two legs than Sunderland.

A win by two goals or more puts them through, a single goal extends the madness and anything less sees them tumble out and face another season in League One.

Is the away goals rule in place?

No. In some competitions goals scored away from home are given more weighting if the aggregate scores can’t be split.

But that is not the case in play-off football.

So what if the aggregate score ends level?

The drama ramps up a touch! If the aggregate score ends level – ie if Wednesday win by a single goal – the two teams turnaround to play two 15-minute halves of extra time in which it is hoped a winner can be found.

If it ends level even after that then it’s over to the dreaded penalty shootout.