What could have been for Sheffield Wednesday today

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Today should have been the day that the curtain came down on Sheffield Wednesday’s 2019/20. It could even have been a day when a playoff spot was decided, but instead, we wait.

Sheffield Wednesday were meant to be hosting Middlesborough at Hillsborough this afternoon in what would have been the final game of Garry Monk’s first season – the Coronavirus pandemic had other plans.

Now, while the football world waits to figure out the next steps, fans around the country will wonder ‘what if’ on a day that should have been full of footballing heartbreak and joy, with still no indication on when – or even whether – the season will finish.

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It seems unlikely based on current form, of course, but Wednesday are not out of contention for the playoffs, and a late flourish could have seen them celebrating a top-six finish today and possibly Steven Fletcher – availability permitting – could have made a last-dash challenge for the Golden Boot (he’s currently on 13 goals, 10 behind leader, Aleksandar Mitrovic). Unlikely, but never say never.

Another personal accolade to play for is Barry Bannan’s attempts to finish as the best creator in the league. With seven assists to date he’s just four short of Bristol City’s Niclas Eliasson on 11, and he’ll have been buoyed by the return of countryman and top scorer, Fletcher.

Just eight points separate Wednesday from sixth-placed Preston North End, and mathematically SWFC are one of 13 teams that can still finish anywhere between 1st and 24th. A total of 27 points are still up for grabs for Monk’s side, but based on their average return over the season so far they’d be likely to pick up around 12 – taking them to a total of 60.

But the aforementioned form in 2020 could also have led to the other side of football, with Wednesday having won just two league games so far this year, and sitting 20th in the form table over the last five games with just four points earned from a possible 15. For the calendar year so far, only Hull City (5) have less points than the Owls (9).

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There remains no date set for a return to action for the English Football League, and therefore Sheffield Wednesday, but football in the city will certainly be missed today in what could have been an exciting afternoon.