Sunderland will look to make the League One play-off final tomorrow night as they travel to Sheffield Wednesday for the second leg of their semi-final, with the Black Cats boasting a 1-0 lead on aggregate.
The Wearside outfit’s top scorer Ross Stewart got the decisive goal in the first leg on Friday night, capitalising on a mistake from Wednesday defender Sam Hutchinson.
However, in order to make it to Wembley, the 25-year-old will need extra support up front, with Alex Neil’s side’s lead a slender one considering that the Owls boast the best home form in the third tier.
Therefore, the imminent return of second top-scorer Nathan Broadhead will be incredibly welcome.
Broadhead missed Friday’s first leg through injury but his manager confirmed that he could be fit in time for tomorrow’s trip to South Yorkshire, stating: “He [Broadhead] will have a chance for Monday. Unfortunately, tonight was too soon.
“We will assess him over the next few days and make a call.
“Tonight he wasn’t ready. It’s tough as he is a good player but we have other good players.”
Labelled as “fantastic” by former Sunderland manager Lee Johnson, the £2.9k-per-week Everton loanee has scored 13 goals in 25 appearances in what’s been an impressive campaign for the 24-year-old, although injuries have prevented the Welshman from making a serious impact at the Stadium of Light.
However, no current striker in the Sunderland squad comes close to the numbers of either Stewart or Broadhead, with the next best tally from a striker coming from Leon Dakaju with four.
Therefore, it is imperative that the Welsh striker is fit enough for tomorrow, at least to make the bench, with the Black Cats looking to finally put an end to their miserable four-year stay in the third tier.
This is arguably the best chance the Wearside outfit has had to escape League One since their back-to-back relegations in 2017 and 2018, having made the 2019 final but being second-best to an impressive Charlton Athletic.
With Broadhead, Sunderland will have a much stronger chance of making the play-off final on 21 May, where they will face either MK Dons or Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley.