It’s been four years since Sunderland suffered back-to-back relegations, dropping from the Premier League to League One in the space of two seasons, but they are one game away from returning to the Championship. They have been here before, losing the League One play-off final in 2018/19, beaten 2-1 by Charlton Athletic to miss out on the chance of an immediate return to the second tier.
There was more play-off heartbreak last season, this time coming in the semi-finals, as they lost 3-2 to Lincoln City over two legs, condemning Sunderland to a fourth season in League One – extending their longest stay away from the top two tiers. As one of the biggest teams in League One, Sunderland are always expected to be challenging for automatic promotion and although they fell away from that, they were never out of the play-off picture. And they beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 over two legs in their semi-final to reach Wembley.
Wycombe, on the other hand, are looking for an immediate return to the Championship after relegation last season. The Chairboys had their first ever season in the second tier of English football last year, gaining promotion by beating Oxford United in the play-off final in 2019/20.
It wasn’t a good debut campaign though, with Wycombe finishing 22nd and dropping straight back down. This season, they left it until the final day of the regular campaign to secure their spot in the play-offs, finishing three points clear of seventh-placed Plymouth Argyle thanks to a final day win over Burton. Wycombe won’t have been fancied for the play-offs, going up against third-placed MK Dons but a 2-0 win in the first leg set them in good stead for a 2-1 aggregate victory.
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Sunderland vs Wycombe match stats
One of the big reasons for Sunderland’s play-off finish this season was down to their goals, with only Wigan Athletic and Oxford United scoring more than their 79 in the regular season. Including the play-offs, Ross Stewart has been Sunderland’s main man in front of goal, netting 25 in 47 appearances.
Finals can be tense moments and, depending on the referee, there could be some yellow cards handed out for tough tackles. One man that is likely to be booked is Wycombe’s Joe Jacobson, who has received 13 yellow cards in League One this season, the joint-most in the division.
8 January 2022 – Wycombe 3-3 Sunderland – League One
28 August 2021 – Sunderland 3-1 Wycombe – League One
11 January 2020 – Sunderland 4-0 Wycombe – League One
19 October 2019 – Wycombe 1-0 Sunderland – League One
9 March 2019 – Wycombe 1-1 Sunderland – League One
Wycombe vs Sunderland isn’t a fixture that has happened too often, with the first ever meeting coming as recently as 2018. The pair have faced off six times so far, with Sunderland having the slight edge, winning twice (one loss, three draws). This season, Sunderland are unbeaten against Wycombe, winning at home and then drawing away in the league.