Barnsley U23s travel to Burnley on Monday afternoon in the Professional Development League, knowing that victory can lift them from the foot of the table.
The young Reds have been unfortunate with results in recent weeks – particularly in their last outing against Birmingham City, where they dominated for large parts but were unable to claim anything from the game.
Martin Devaney will be without Louis Walsh for the trip to Curzon Ashton after the winger joined Guiseley AFC on a one-month youth loan on Saturday.
It is likely to be a challenging afternoon for Barnsley as the Clarets are unbeaten in their last four games – form that has seen them rise to fourth in the table. Victory for Jon Pepper’s side could see them climb to second above Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham, depending on results elsewhere.
Spearheading Burnley’s attack are two of the league’s top scorers in Dan Agyei and Tinashe Chakwana, who have plundered 15 goals between them so far this campaign. Eight of those strikes have come in the last two games as the Clarets thrashed Sheffield United 6-0 and eased to three points with a 4-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
With 28 goals, the Lancashire outfit are the joint top scorers in the Professional Development League – level with Ipswich Town and Queens Park Rangers. However, the Reds will take confidence from Burnley’s defensive record, with Pepper’s side conceding 20 times in 11 games.
Barnsley will also be boosted by three key players returning from injury in the past few weeks, with captain Will Smith, Cameron Simpson and Romal Palmer all nearing full fitness after their respective lay-offs.
You can find out how the young Reds fare by attending the game at Curzon Ashton for free, kick-off at 2pm. Alternatively, you can follow the action on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC.