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Sunderland League One play-offs: Who they play next, when, stand-out players & more for Championship promotion hopefuls

23:57 SAST 2022/05/09
Patrick Roberts, Sunderland 2021-22
The Black Cats are in with a chance of promotion to the Championship after edging past Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-finals

Sunderland booked their place in the League One play-off final on Monday evening.

The Black Cats played out a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday in the second leg of their semi-final tie.

That result secured a 2-1 aggregate win for Alex Neil's team to put them one game away from returning to the Championship.

Who will Sunderland face in the play-off final?

Sunderland will come up against Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley in the promotion decider.

Wycombe finished sixth in the table, securing the final play-off spot, and one point behind Sunderland.

They booked their place in the final by beating Milton Keynes Dons 2-1 on aggregate.

Sunderland beat Wycombe 3-1 when they hosted them at the Stadium of Light in August, then the two sides played out a 3-3 draw in January.

The Tyne and Wear club approach the crucial clash on a 15-game unbeaten run, while Wycombe's 1-0 second-leg loss in their play-off semi-final brought an end to a string of 13 matches without defeat.

When is the play-off final?

Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers will play the final clash on May 21.

The game will kick off at 3pm local time.

The winner of the clash will join League One champions Wigan and runners-up Rotherham in being promoted to the Championship.

Who are the stand-out players?

Sunderland star Ross Stewart is one of the players to watch in the play-off final.

He is the team's top scorer and one of the most prolific in the division this season.

The Scottish attacker struck 25 times and made three assists in 48 league appearances.

Centre-back Luke O'Nien is another one who stands out, having impressed in the heart of the Sunderland defence.

Defensive midfielder Daniel Neil has played an important role for them, too. The 20-year-old has made seven assists and chipped in with three goals in his 39 appearances.

What happened to Sunderland?

Sunderland were in the Premier League as recently as 2017.

But the Black Cats were relegated to the Championship at the end of that season.

Another dismal year saw them drop to League One in 2019 as the club dealt with severe financial issues.

The club ended up saddled with huge debt and faced being crippled by their financial issues.

They made it to the play-off finals in their first season in the third tier but lost to Charlton.

In the 2019-20 campaign, they narrowly missed out on a place in the play-offs on goal difference.

They made it to the semi-finals last year, but were beaten by Lincoln City.