Barnsley U23s travel to Millwall on Friday afternoon in the Professional Development League looking to stretch their unbeaten run to ten games.
The young Reds drew 0-0 with Sheffield Wednesday in blustery conditions at the Oakwell Training Ground last time out as they continue to end the campaign strongly.
Results elsewhere last week mean that Martin Devaney’s side can’t climb the table with victory at the Den, but they can close the gap to Crewe Alexandra and Bolton Wanderers – providing the aforementioned teams fail to win.
Millwall are currently fourth in the south league and ran out 2-0 winners against high-flying Birmingham City in their last outing.
Mason Saunders-Henry was on target for the Lions in that game, and he will be the one to watch in south east London on Friday afternoon. The 19-year-old midfielder has nine goals to his name in 21 appearances this campaign.
After going eight games unbeaten earlier this season, Kevin Nugent’s side then lost seven of their next 11 fixtures – including a 5-0 drubbing against leaders Ipswich Town at the end of January.
Statistics suggest that was a freak result for Millwall, who have the second-best defensive record across both divisions. Only Birmingham (23) have conceded fewer goals than the Lions (27) this campaign, although Friday’s hosts haven’t been quite as prolific in the final third.
Like Barnsley, Millwall have found the net 32 times – only five teams in the Professional Development League have scored fewer goals. However, the Reds have netted half of that tally in their last nine games and are very much on an upward curve.
The last time these two sides met, Barnsley ran out 3-0 winners at Oakwell back in September 2017 with Cameron McGeehan scoring twice before Mamadou Thiam completed the rout.
You can find out how Martin Deveney’s youngsters fare by attending the game at the Den on Friday, kick-off at 2pm. Tickets are priced at £5 for adults and £1 for under 16s. Alternatively, you can follow updates on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC.