Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday: 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.
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Bannan was forced off in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Portsmouth over the weekend, something that got plenty of Owls fans talking as they questioned whether he’d be fit enough to face the Black Cats in the first leg of their play-off tie on Friday night.

Neil, however, 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.

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The Sunderland boss made his Bannan comment when asked about Broadhead’s fitness, with the Sunderland Echo quoting him as saying, “We’ll make a late call on Nathan… I’m sure Sheffield Wednesday will be cagey and make out like Barry Bannan might not be fit - he’ll be fit.”

Neil also spoke about the big following expected at both legs, adding, “Listen I’m probably going to offend a few teams here - but they are probably the two best supported teams in the league… They have both been in the Championship and in the Premier League not that long ago.

“It’s going to be a tough game and it’s going to be a big atmosphere. Hopefully the players can handle that and do themselves justice.”

Only time will tell whether Bannan and Broadhead will make Friday night’s game – or indeed Monday’s – but fans of both clubs will be keen to see their side have as many players available as possible as they aim for a spot at Wembley.