The League One play-offs are set to get underway with four teams set to battle it out to see who will be the one to play Championship football next season. We take a look at the two semi-finals and also the latest League One betting odds on what is sure to be two exciting and stressful games for fans of each team and neutrals alike.
Semifinal First Leg Preview and Latest League One Betting Odds
Wycombe Wanderers vs MK Dons: Thursday, May 5, 7:45pm
Wycombe Wanderers and MK Dons will both be looking to take an advantage into the second leg, and a win would do just that. The visitors hold home advantage in the return game, therefore a victory at a sold-out Adams Park would make them clear favourites to progress to the final at Wembley. The Dons narrowly missed out on automatic promotion having won only three of their last six games, however, they did make a statement winning 5-0 at play-off hopefuls Plymouth Argyle last weekend and finishing the season on 89 points. Dons midfielder Scott twine scored four times to take his tally for the season to 20 goals and 13 assists.
They face a Wycombe side unbeaten in their last 12 games and have won five of their last seven to clinch the final play-off position on the final day of the league season. However, Wanderers have been beaten three times by their opponents already this season. Twice in the league and once in the Papa John’s Trophy. Despite this, Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth believes his team has an equal chance. He told BBC Three Counties Radio: “We’ve got a chance in this. There are four teams with a 25% chance each.”
“There are no favourites, this is the play-offs, not the league. It’s a totally different competition.
“We can go places. Wycombe Wanderers in the Championship, that’s what they’re saying, and I love it. Let’s not think about the final, let’s get these two games dealt with. MK Dons, it’s been a great season for them. I cannot wait for this game on Thursday, it’s going to be awesome.”
Both managers are set to field the same line-ups that won last weekend. Wycombe defender Chris Forino-Joseph who missed the win at Burton Albion could feature however should he recover from injury. Forward Mohamed Eisa is once again set to miss out for MK Dons having been absent for the last three games through injury.
Latest League One Betting Odds
First Leg: Wycombe 6/4, MK Dons 9/5, Draw 21/10
To be Promoted: Wycombe 7/2, MK Dons 5/2
Odds are from Sky Bet and are correct as of May 5.
Sunderland vs Sheffield Wednesday: Friday, May 6, 7:45 pm
More than 40,000 fans are expected to be in attendance at the Stadium of Light on Friday night. The Black Cats are unbeaten in their last thirteen games and have been beaten just once since Alex Neil took charge in February. His Sunderland team beat Morecambe 1-0 last weekend to secure their play-off place finishing in fifth position with 84 points.
Sheffield Wednesday have won four of their last six games and finished their season with an impressive 4-1 victory over Portsmouth. They finished their season in fourth place with 85 points.
Both teams have victories over the other this season. The Owls won comfortably 3-0 at Hillsborough in November with Sunderland exacting revenge in December when they won 5-0. This game will be their 126th encounter with the Black Cats edging it 49 wins to 48.
For Sunderland, this is their third League One play-off appearance in four seasons. Beaten finalists in 2019 and beaten semi-finalists in 2021. Forward Lynden Gooch, however, believes the team are feeling more confident than in previous seasons. Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “We’re confident. Obviously, we’ve been on a good run to finish the season.”
“It’s a bit different to other seasons when we have gone into the play-offs sort of petering out a little bit so we are looking forward to it. I think we have played some really good football at times as well and at this stage of the season, it’s about results. These next two games are going to be the exact same.
“I’ve been desperate to achieve promotion out of this league for the club and hopefully we can get this one over the line.”
Alex Neil will be without Leon Dajaku through illness and Carl Winchester is also expected to be missing as he recovers from an injury sustained a the recent Cambridge United match. Full-back Dennis Cirkin could return to the squad and experienced winger Aiden McGeady could also feature having returned to training following a long-term injury. In-form striker Nathan Broadhead who was substituted early in the win at Morecambe could play but it is expected to be a late call.
Darren Moore and his Sheffield Wednesday team travel to Wearside with one major injury worry. Midfielder and captain Barry Bannan is a doubt having been substituted due to injury against Portsmouth last weekend. The Owls’ influential midfielder would be a big miss to the team in such a huge game. Defender Harlee Dean could return having missed the Portsmouth game and Josh Windass is pushing for a starting place having recovered from injury and featuring last weekend as a substitute.
Latest League One Betting Odds
First Leg: Sunderland 8/5, Sheffield Wednesday 17/10, Draw 21/10
To be Promoted: Sunderland 3/1, Sheffield Wednesday 15/8
Odds are from Sky Bet and are correct as of May 5
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