UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
Barnsley are set to take on Sheffield Wednesday in the League One play-off final on Monday afternoon in what looks set to be a fiery encounter between the two Yorkshire teams. Although Wembley’s standout fixture of the season will be contested by both Manchester clubs next weekend in the FA Cup final, this play-off final is also one not to be missed.
The match is the final play-off game of the season after Luton won the Championship play-off final on Saturday and Carlisle United won the League Two play-off final on Sunday. Both of those games went all the way to penalties and considering how similar Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday are, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this one go beyond 120 minutes, too.
Barnsley came through their semi-final tie with Bolton after a 1-0 victory at the Oakwell Stadium nine days ago. The Tykes played out a 1-1 draw with Bolton in the first leg but managed to just about get over the line in the return leg at home.
Sheffield Wednesday, on the other hand, pulled off the mother of all comebacks to make it through to the final. After losing their first leg with Peterborough 4-0, the Owls won the return leg via a penalty shootout after taking the game to extra time courtesy of a 98th-minute goal from Liam Palmer.
The match is set to kick off at 15:00 UK time and viewers will be able to watch it on SkySports Football and SkySports Main Event.
Barnsley Team News: Duff’s team picks itself
Barnsley manager, Michael Duff, is in the enviable position of having a full squad of players available for selection ahead of the clash at Wembley. With that in mind, it would be a huge surprise if Duff changed any of the players who got the club within touching distance of a return to the Championship.
In both legs with Bolton Wanderers, Duff picked the exact same eleven players in the exact same formation and his side performed admirably throughout. Barnsley’s semi-final winner came via defender Liam Kitching and the 23-year-old will start again in a back three with Mads Andersen and Bobby Thomas.
Barnsley take the lead at Oakwell!
Liam Kitching heads the home side in front and they go 2-1 up on aggregate.
— The Athletic | Football (@TheAthleticFC) May 19, 2023
The trio will play in front of goalkeeper, Harry Isted, who Duff may have some reservations about after his performance in the second leg with Bolton. Isted was rocky throughout and very nearly gifted Bolton an easy route back into the tie in the second half. Despite that, Duff will stick by his number-one goalkeeper at Wembley.
At the other end of the pitch, Devante Cole will start up front alongside Slobodan Tedic, who is on loan from Manchester City. James Norwood, who has scored eleven goals this season, will be waiting in the wings on the bench to make an impact in the second half.
Sheffield Wednesday Team News: Darren Moore to ride the wave of momentum
After the chaos of their second leg against Peterborough last week, Darren Moore has a couple of injury concerns ahead of the final. Marvin Johnson and Dominic Iorfa were both forced off at different stages of the match and didn’t look in great shape during the celebrations after the penalty shootout victory.
The moment Jack Hunt scored from the spot to help Sheffield Wednesday complete the greatest comeback in EFL playoff history, winning on penalties after a 5-5 draw on aggregate👏 #SWFC
— Football Away Days (@AwayDays_) May 19, 2023
Moore said that the pair have been training as normal this week, though, so it would be a surprise if either man didn’t start the game at Wembley. Aside from those two, Moore is also expected to go unchanged from the team that started the second leg but he will also be prepared to go to his bench to change things if needs be.
One bit of surprising news that’s come out of the Sheffield Wednesday camp this week is the revelation that George Byers has returned to training earlier than expected. Byers suffered a serious hamstring injury in March and was initially ruled out for the season but he is now said to be in line for a place on the substitutes bench on Monday.
Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!