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Sheffield Wednesday vs Barnsley betting tips: League One play-off final preview, predictions and odds

Sheffield Wednesday vs Barnsley odds and betting statistics



Sheffield Wednesday vs Barnsley match preview

Following the single most remarkable comeback in Football League play-off history, can Sheffield Wednesday complete the job and seal their return to the Championship?

The Owls came into these play-offs as favourites to go up, given that they finished third on 96 points, at least ten more than anybody else.

However, Darren Moore’s men were then smashed 4-0 by Peterborough in the first leg at London Road, a catastrophe that gave them a less than 1% chance of progressing.

What would transpire is one of the most famous nights in the 124 hours history of Hillsborough.

Michael Smith converted an early penalty and Lee Gregory made it 2-0 in the first half, as they chipped away at Posh’s advantage.

Reece James then set up a grand-stand finish before, in the 98th minute left, Liam Palmer poked home an equaliser that sparked jubilant scenes.

But Wednesday don’t know when they’re beat; Callum Paterson made it 5-5, forcing a penalty shootout in front of the Kop.

Micahel Smith, Will Vaulks, Barry Bannan, Josh Windass and Jack Hunt all held their nerve from 12 yards, meaning one Cameron Dawson save was enough to complete the astonishing comeback.

A mind-boggling result for Darren Moore’s team, as they desperately seek to get back into the second-tier, but they need to come back down to earth as there is still one game to go.

Given all that transpired at Hillsborough ten days ago, Barnsley have been completely forgotten about.

The Tykes enjoyed a rather more low-key 2-1 aggregate victory over Bolton, with Liam Kitching the only scorer at Oakwell the following night.

Michael Duff’s team are targeting an immediate return to the Championship, having finished rock bottom of that division 12 months ago.

Barnsley also have a very enviable record in play-offs, successful in two of their four post-season campaigns, beating Swansea in 2006 and Millwall a decade later, both at this level.

As for Sheffield Wednesday, this is a fifth foray into the play-offs.

Their first, in 2005, saw them oust Hartlepool in the final, but all three subsequently have resulted in defeats, coming at the hands of Hull, Huddersfield and then Sunderland, the latter just last season.

The Owls are also winless in four visits to Wembley, dating back to the 1991 League Cup Final victory over Manchester United.

Barnsley won both regular season meetings with Wednesday this season, so which of these two Yorkshire outfits will be celebrating promotion on Bank Holiday Monday at the National Stadium?

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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