Everything you need to know about our seaside clash with Blackpool this weekend!
After a hard week on the training ground, the Reds are back in Sky Bet Championship action on Saturday when heading to the bright lights of Blackpool for a 3pm kick-off.
Good news from those sessions over the last five days sees all of Ben Williams, Josh Benson, Liam Kitching and Jordan Williams return to contention for a place in the squad travelling to Bloomfield Road this weekend.
We are now eight games into the 21/22 season and it already feels a long time since our one and only victory to date, the 1-0 home win against Coventry City back in August. The Reds have struggled in front of goal, no question, and have just eight points going into this clash with the Tangerines, sat in 18th position in the table.
Last time out, Markus Schopp's side were probably the better side against Blackburn Rovers at Oakwell. But a number of well-crafted openings were once again passed up, as the Reds' inability to show ruthlessness saw them held to a goalless draw.
It was a welcome clean sheet though. Whilst defensively, Barnsley have been okay so far this season in terms of numbers, they've had to rely on Brad Collins far too often already. Without his heroics - particularly against Coventry City and Stoke City - the goal difference and points total would perhaps have a slightly more worrying look to it.
The lack of options available to Schopp probably mitigate the start made so far. But with players now returning and the likes of Mads Andersen, Carlton Morris and Obbi Oularé getting closer each week to their own respective comebacks, the need to start gaining victories only increases. This trip to Blackpool kicks off a three-game week and a chance to kick on up the division.
Our opponents from Lancashire sit right behind the Reds and on the same points so far, after a couple of impressive victories breathed life into a tough start to their time back in the second tier of English football.
Promoted via the Sky Bet League One play-offs last season, thanks to former Reds midfielder Kenny Dougall's stunning Wembley brace, the Seasiders are a club reborn over the last couple of years, thanks - largely - to the new ownership of Simon Sadler, who quickly made another ex-Red in Ben Mansford the club's CEO.
The appointment of former Liverpool academy coach Neil Critchley has proved an astute move too, and the Tangerines have gone on and built an exciting squad with plenty of familiar names amongst it, including Chris Maxwell in goal, the evergreen Richard Keogh in defence and the experienced former Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Madine up front.
Last weekend's surprise win at Middlesbrough helped back up their home win against promotion favourites Fulham a week earlier. Whilst being dominated by the Cottagers throughout, Blackpool scored with their only shot on target to claim a shock three points.
However, they've failed to score in any of their other three games on home soil, all defeats against Coventry, Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town.
It's been three years since we last met at this venue, when Cameron McGeehan's header was enough to secure a 1-0 win for Daniel Stendel's promotion-winning League One outfit in December of 2018.
Eight years have passed since our last defeat at Bloomfield Road. That came in August of 2013 when Scott Golbourne's last minute own-goal saw us defeated 1-0.
Funnily enough, the referee on that day - Stephen Martin - is the same man tasked with controlling the fixture once again. The Staffordshire-based official has been in the game for 13 years now and was the man in the middle at Cardiff on the opening day of this season when the Reds fought back to claim a 1-1 draw.
In terms of domestic streaming, a reminder that the EFL has returned to the position held pre-pandemic, where any games kicking off between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturday afternoons are prohibited.
However, supporters in the UK are able to buy audio passes via iFollow Barnsley.
Our overseas fans can enjoy live streaming of the game, with a match pass priced at £10.
For further information on iFollow for this season, and how to activate seasonal subscriptions, please click the link below.