Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday: Barry Bannan, Alex Neil, Darren Moore, team news, predictions, ex-players and more

The big match has arrived and as ever The Star has had every angle covered in the buid-up to Sheffield Wednesday’s League One play-off semi-final against Sunderland.

Friday, 6th May 2022, 4:55 pm

To whet your appetite ahead of the 7.45 kick-off here’s a handy run-down of all the news, predictions and opinion ahead of this mammoth clash at the Stadium of Light.

Why Moore moved, the club’s connection, and submerging into the fanbase

Darren Moore moved to Sheffield because he felt it was ‘right’ – and he’s learning more about the club all the time.

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Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore takes his team to the Stadium of Light to face SUnderland inthe first leg of their League One play-off semi-final Pic Steve Ellis

The Star's writers make their play-off semi-final predictions

Everyone else is having a go, so The Star’s football writers are offering their views on how Sheffield Wednesday’s play-off semi-final first leg clash is going to go tonight at the Stadium of Light.

'We'll do them at Hillsborough' - ex-Owls predict play-off semi-final

The big one has arrived with Sheffield Wednesday taking on Sunderland in the play-off semi-finals, with the first leg at the Stadium of Light.

Sheffield Wednesday Sunderland combined XI: Who makes it and who misses out in The Star's preferred side?

Just for a bit of fun – and remembering our obvious shade of bias here, Mackems – we’ve thrown together our ‘Combined XI’ to come up with the sort of side we think would walk the third tier title.

How Sunderland have used Sheffield Wednesday this season – Black Cats boss explains

Sunderland manager, Alex Neil, says that they’ve used Sheffield Wednesday a lot in their preparation for games this season.

Sheffield Wednesday's injury update as defender returns - Dean and Windass latest before Sunderland

Darren Moore has given an injury update on the rest of the Sheffield Wednesday squad before facing Sunderland.

Sheffield Wednesday's predicted XI against Sunderland - if Bannan is fit

Darren Moore and Alex Neil haven't been afraid to make changes during their spells at their respective clubs, and it’s likely that that will be the case again this weekend – even if it’s more of a forced change than a tactical one.

Behind enemy lines - Inside track on Black Cats as Owls prepare for play-off battle

We spoke to Joe Nicholson, from the Sunderland Echo, to get a better idea of the challenge that Wednesday will be up against when they head up to the North East this weekend.

'Solid citizen' squad assembled by Darren Moore means Sheffield Wednesday can cope even if Barry Bannan doesn't play

The sun was shining, the atmosphere joyous. With only a few minutes to go, the chatter around Hillsborough was about who was up next and to which pub first. And then the mood soured. A fallen soldier, nay, their Sergeant; Barry Bannan strewn across the turf holding his hamstring in some discomfort.

Former Sheffield Wednesday skipper Lee Bullen's message to Barry Bannan as Owls prepare for Sunderland play-off semi-final clash

Lee Bullen is a man who speaks from experience when it comes to a lot of things at Sheffield Wednesday. And as captain of an Owls play-off winning team he knows how current skipper Barry Bannan will be feeling this week – taking away the concerns about the midfielder’s fitness – as Wednesday prepare for a double-header against Sunderland for the right to a final spot at Wembley.

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

Former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder gives his take on ‘staggering’ Sunderland match-up

Sell-out crowds watching matches between Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland? It’s more akin to a Premier League clash to that of a League One play-off.

Everything Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore said on Barry Bannan's availability ahead of Sunderland clash

Sheffield Wednesday will ‘wait and see’ on the fitness of talisman midfielder Barry Bannan ahead of their vital play-off semi-final clash at Sunderland on Friday evening.

Owls defender names key factor for Owls against Black Cats

If Sheffield Wednesday are to be successful against Sunderland, they're going to need to be patient – that’s according to Liam Palmer.

An honest view of the Owls from Black Cats expert

We asked Sunderland Echo writer, Joe Nicholson, for an honest view of the Owls before this weekend’s tie, and here’s what he had to say…

Boss makes Barry Bannan claim as Owls sweat on captain's fitness

Barry Bannan will be available for Sheffield Wednesday – that’s the opinion of Sunderland’ Alex Neil, anyway. Neil seems to think that the Wednesday skipper will be ready for the Stadium of Light though, but was coy on the levels of his own injured attacker, Nathan Broadhead.

How much home advantage could help the Owls in second leg

Sheffield Wednesday will have home advantage in the second leg of their play-off semi-final tie against Sunderland, but what difference will it make?

Sunderland stat that may give them edge over Sheffield Wednesday, MK Dons and Wycombe Wanderers

Sheffield Wednesday’s opponents in the League One play-off semifinals, Sunderland, finished the season in the best form of any team in the division.

Atdhe Nuhiu’s big Wembley dream revealed as Sheffield Wednesday approach Sunderland face-off

Wednesday skipper Barry Bannan, speaking to The Star ahead of the Owls’ win over Portsmouth revealed the contact he has had with some of his former teammates this season, one of whom has pledged to make the trip to Wembley should they overcome their Black Cats hurdle.

Keiren Westwood insight tells us a little on Sheffield Wednesday's preparation for play-off match-up with Sunderland

Darren Moore’s mantra throughout his time at Sheffield Wednesday has been to keep things on an even keel – not to get too high when you win, and not to get too low when you lose.

How Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland's top performers compare - key players confirmed

Several players will be key over the two legs, and we had a look at who the top performers have been in various departments - statistically – as he we head into two massive games of football.

Why Sheffield Wednesday’s Sunderland ticket allocation is only for 2,000 fans

Sheffield Wednesday will only be taking 2,000 fans to Sunderland this week when the two teams meet in the League One play-offs.

Former Sunderland man ‘most confident’ as Sheffield Wednesday come to town

Ex-Sunderland attacker, Stephen Elliott, says he’s more confident of the Black Cats getting promoted than ever before as they prepare to face Sheffield Wednesday.

George Byers lays down gauntlet as Sheffield Wednesday face big trip to Sunderland

George Byers says that Sheffield Wednesday’s last trip to Sunderland was ‘nowhere near’ the sort of performance that they expect from themselves.