Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley aim to keep sky-high level at Wembley
How do you top a soaring, giddying high that most Sheffield Wednesday fans may not have experienced in their lifetimes? On Monday their team will try, although there may be no replicating the feeling they engendered upon overhauling a 4-0 first-leg deficit against Peterborough to reach the League One playoff final. A straightforward win could feel prosaic by comparison but the prize on offer at Wembley is impossible to play down: promotion would be the first, crucial, step in heaving a storied institution from the doldrums.
It will require one last monumental effort and, even then, there is no guarantee a fine Barnsley side will buckle. The 80th iteration of this South Yorkshire derby will contain more spice than any of its predecessors and it is a reminder, too, of the sky high standards set in this seasons third tier. Wednesday finished with 96 points and would not have believed anyone who, back in August, suggested that tally would not secure automatic promotion; even Barnsleys total of 86 points, in coming fourth, would have earned a top-two spot in three of the last 10 seasons.