Both clubs have spent time in the Premier League in the past but are now languishing in the third tier of English football – however both have ambitions of playing in the Championship in 2022-23.
The final few months of the current campaign were major positives for both teams, with Darren Moore’s side scoring goals left, right and centre on their way to securing their spot in the top six.
The ultimate Sunderland end of season quiz – We’ll be impressed if you score above 80% on this
Sunderland meanwhile rolled the dice and parted company with Lee Johnson, replacing him with former Norwich City and Preston North End boss Alex Neil.
Neil lost just one match since he took charge in February at the Stadium of Light, meaning the Black Cats will come into the semi-final against the Owls full of confidence.
There’s definitely been a change of fortune since the Scot was appointed on Wearside, and his opposition manager this week in Moore has recognised the job Neil has done since he joined forces with Sunderland.
“Alex has done a great job there, they are in good form, we are in good form,” Moore said, per Wednesday’s official Twitter account.
“We know the magnitude of this game and it’s two big clubs going head-to-head. We’ll be ready for it.”
Sunderland were stumbling before Neil took the reins at the Stadium of Light, so the job he’s done to get them back on the straight and narrow is impressive.
Supporters are a fan of his straight-talking approach as opposed to what Lee Johnson was doing, and there will be a lot of confidence going into the play-offs.
But they come up against a team that have been scoring for fun in recent weeks and months, with Wednesday’s list of attacking options seemingly endless.
Both the Stadium of Light and Hillsborough are going to be packed out this week though for two intriguing contests, where one massive team will book their place at Wembley.