Bristol City v Barnsley
Barnsley could move into the top half of the table with a win at Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds currently sit 14th following Monday’s draw at home to Brentford but Paul Heckingbottom’s men could leapfrog both Cardiff and Aston Villa if they secure all three points at Ashton Gate and results go there way elsewhere.
Despite losing their last away game at Wigan, the Reds have lost just once in their last five games and will travel to Bristol hoping to put in a repeat performance from the Club’s 2-0 win at Blackburn a fortnight ago.
Hosts Bristol City go into the game sitting four points clear of the relegation zone following a major upturn in form.
The Robins are unbeaten in their last three games which has included wins against Wolves and QPR, as well as a 1-1 draw at Blackburn on Easter Monday.
Both of those victories came at Ashton Gate which means Lee Johnson’s side have now won their last three on the bounce in front of their home faithful, tasting defeat just once in eight games on home soil.
The Reds will be looking to end a 14-match winless run at Ashton Gate on Saturday afternoon.
Since the Club’s 2-0 win there back in October 1993, there has been nine wins for the Robins and five draws including the most recent meeting in Bristol two years ago when it ended two apiece.
Barnsley last tasted victory in this fixture in September 2012 when Jacob Mellis’ second-half effort was enough to earn a narrow 1-0 win for the Reds.
The Robins got their revenge in the reverse fixture during that 2012-13 campaign but since then, there has been three consecutive 2-2 draws between the sides including earlier this season when Adam Hammill struck a 90th minute equaliser at Oakwell.
In total there have been 21 draws between the Reds and the Robins, with Barnsley winning 30 and Bristol City 41.
Paul Heckingbottom remains without Adam Hammill and Andy Yiadom for the trip to Bristol.
Hammill has missed the last three games with a toe injury, while Yiadom has undergone shoulder surgery, with both unlikely to feature again this season.
Bristol City could name an unchanged line-up for the fourth game in succession.
The same Robins XI has secured wins against Wolves and QPR, as well as a 1-1 draw against Blackburn on Monday.
If Lee Johnson does opt to make changes however, the likes of Lee Tomlin, Aaron Wilbraham and former Barnsley man Dave Cotterill wait in the wings.
Man in the Middle
Scott Duncan takes charge of a Barnsley game for the third time this season on Saturday afternoon.
The Northumberland-based official sent off Reds defender Marc Roberts in controversial circumstances in the Club’s 2-2 draw at home to Birmingham on New Year’s Eve, while he also oversaw the Reds’ goalless draw with Cardiff earlier this month where his decision not to send off the visitors defender Sol Bamba raised eyebrows.
In total Duncan has overseen five Barnsley games, with the Reds winning once, drawing twice and losing twice in his company.
Saturday’s game will see Bristol City meet with Duncan for a second time this season after he watched over the Club’s 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest back in October.
That is one of three Robins’ victories which he has overseen, as well as two defeats and one draw.
So far this term, Duncan has taken charge of 35 games, handing out 106 yellow cards and 10 reds.
Their Star Man
When Bristol City completed the loan signing of Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham in August, not even his biggest admirers could have predicted the volume of his success.
The 19-year-old forward has enjoyed a remarkable campaign at Ashton Gate which has seen him bag 25 goals in 45 appearances for the Robins.
The England U21 international got off to a flying start with 11 goals in his first 14 games which included a first senior goal against Wycombe in the EFL Cup, as well as braces against both Burton Albion and Sheffield Wednesday.
Although his next 12 outings would not prove to be as prolific, one of his two goals during that period did come at Oakwell in an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Towards the end of the year and the on-loan Chelsea man rediscovered his goal scoring boots and since Boxing Day the Camberwell-born front man has hit 12 goals in 19 appearances including three in his last three games.
That leaves him on 22 Championship goals for the season and despite only having three games left to play, Abraham will now have his sights firmly set on toppling Chris Wood as the division’s top goal scorer this term.
Following several attempts, Barnsley completed the signing of winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce from Southend in August 2007.
The pacey wide man would go onto make 100 appearances for the Reds; netting 13 times during his two-and-a-half year stay at Oakwell.
The second of those goals came against former Club Southend in the fourth round of the FA Cup, as the Reds then famously went on to defeat both Liverpool and Chelsea in a remarkable Cup run.
His second season with the Reds would prove to be his most prolific however, with the ex-Rotherham man hitting nine goals.
That included winners in both meetings with local rivals Sheffield Wednesday as Barnsley completed a league double over the Owls for the first time in 63 years, while his goal against Plymouth on the final day of the campaign secured the Club’s Championship status.
Despite all that, the former Jamaica international would spend just seven more months at Oakwell before joining Saturday’s hosts Bristol City in January 2010 for an undisclosed fee.
Just like at Barnsley, the now 34-year-old enjoyed two-and-a-half seasons at Ashton Gate; playing 65 times and scoring two goals.
His time at the Club ended with a loan move to Leyton Orient which was followed by spells with Notts County, Sheffield United and Chesterfield, before joining Barnet last summer.
Barnsley’s last five away from home: (LLLWL)
Derby County 2-1 Barnsley
QPR 2-1 Barnsley
Norwich 2-0 Barnsley
Blackburn 0-2 Barnsley
Wigan 3-2 Barnsley
Bristol City’s last five at home: (DDWWW)
Bristol City 0-0 Burton Albion
Bristol City 1-1 Norwich City
Bristol City 4-0 Huddersfield Town
Bristol City 3-1 Wolves
Bristol City 2-1 QPR
Ashton Gate Stadium
How to get there
FROM M5: Leave the M5 motorway at junction 18, travel along the Portway (A4) following the signs for Bristol Airport/Taunton (A38). Over the swing bridge (Brunel Way), branching left into Winterstoke Road, and left again at the traffic lights for Ashton Gate.
FROM M4: At junction 19, exit onto M32 towards Bristol. Continue on A4032. Turn left at A4044/Bond Street. Continue to follow A4044. At Temple Circus Gyratory, take the 2nd exit onto A4/Templegate. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto A370/York Road. Continue to follow A370. Go through one roundabout. Slight left to merge onto Brunel Way. Take the next left at traffic lights for Ashton Gate.
*This route directs through Bristol City Centre and journey time can be significantly increased due to traffic. Travelling along the Portway via the M5 is often considerably quicker. For the Portway, leave the M4 at junction 20 and join the M5 South-bound, then follow the above directions for M5*.
Private parking is available in the area, please visit justpark.com for more information.
Parking is usually available in the Ashton Vale Rd. industrial estate and also limited match day parking available at Bedminster Cricket Club on a first come, first served basis.
Street parking surrounding the stadium is severely limited and Bristol City encourage supporters to utilise public transport as an alternative. Please observe all local parking restrictions and respect local resident’s driveways and homes.
The closest station to Ashton Gate is Parson Street, a 10-15 minute walk from the stadium. Parson Street is accessible from mainline stations including Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway and Weston Super Mare.
We have LIVE and uninterrupted coverage on Barnsley Player HD from Ashton Gate tomorrow, with Reds commentator Matt Bailey and former Reds and Bristol City defender Darren Barnard!