Middlesbrough vs Barnsley
Saturday 26th April
After losing to Derby 2-1 during the week, only wins from the final two games will be enough for Barnsley to survive and only if other results go in the Tykes’ favour.
The Reds were unlucky on Monday when they visited Derby as after going 1-0 down, Derby benefitted further from a big deflection to increase their lead.
A greatly increased second half performance from Barnsley saw they grab a goal back through on loan Nick Proschwitz although it came too late as the game ended 2-1 to the home side.
As Reds boss Danny Wilson has said, there are still an important six points left to play for and despite Barnsley’s league position, those points are still all that could stand between League One and another year in the Championship.
This will be the 54th time that this fixture has been played in the Football League.
Barnsley wins over Middlesbrough-17
Middlesbrough wins over Barnsley- 25
Barnsley’s result at Oakwell last December when Middlesbrough were the visitors shows that the Reds still have what it takes to avoid the drop.
Winning 3-2 that day, the Reds put in a fantastic first half performance securing all three points with goals from Paddy McCourt and Chris O’Grady.
Despite something of a second half comeback, the Reds held off Middlesbrough and claimed an important win.
A win this time round would be more than important to Barnsley as only success from these last two fixtures could ensure safety.
Players to watch
Since arriving on loan from Hull in January, Nick Proschwitz has been a useful weapon for the Reds with the latest of his goals coming on Monday in the defeat the Derby.
With a proven goal scoring record in the German lower leagues, Proschwitz was snapped up by Hull in 2012 for £2.6M with the Yorkshire side hoping for his goals to continue in England.
Prior to his move to England, Proschwitz had been top scorer in the Swiss league and also the German second division. With an impressive goal to game ratio, the front man’s price tag seemed justified although at Hull there had been some doubt.
Regardless of this, Proschwitz looks to have found his scoring form once again and his contribution to Barnsley’s hopes of survival this season, may see him get a look in at Hull during the next campaign.
Despite the German not having the most successful time at Hull initially, he did score some vital goals during the season that Hull saw themselves promoted to the top flight.
Currently the Tigers have a lot options when it comes to strikers and as a result it was decided Proschwitz’s time would be better spent away on loan.
Nathaniel Chalobah has been tipped as a future star for England but for now, at only 19 years old, he is in the swing of things at Middlesbrough in his second loan spell this year.
A product of the Chelsea youth system, Chalobah has been with the London club since 2005 and has represented England from U16 to U21 level.
Now looking to make a name for himself as a senior player, Chalobah has been away on loan several times in a bid to gain the experience he needs in order to become a future first team Chelsea player.
Last season, Watford were the ones who benefited from Chalobah’s presence as he was a regular member in their first team. Having impressed on loan last season, Chelsea again sent Chalobah out this year.
Spending the first half of the campaign with Nottingham Forest, the young midfielder made a dozen appearances and scored a couple of goals before returning back to Chelsea.
In the January transfer window, Chalobah went north and joined Middlesbrough on loan for the rest of the season as they themselves were looking for the extra boost they needed to make a push for the play-offs.
Several Barnsley players are facing late fitness tests ahead of what many believe to be the club’s most important game of the season this Saturday.
Kelvin Etuhu (ankle), Marcus Pedersen (hamstring), Ryan McLaughlin (hamstring) and Jack Hunt (hamstring) are all currently injured and Danny Wilson will be hoping that they will be able to return in time.
The home side also have several injuries to contend with. Kei Kamara is recovering from a hernia operation, Muzzy Carayol is recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament operation and Rhys Williams is out for the remainder of the campaign as a result of an Achilles tendon injury.
L- (A) Derby 2-1
L- (H) Leeds 1-0
W- (A) Charlton 2-1
L- (A) Bolton 1-0
L- (H) Burnley 1-0
L- (H) Millwall 2-1
W- (A) Burnley 1-0
W- (H) Birmingham 3-1
W- (H) Derby 1-0
W- (A) Brighton 2-0
Barnsley win: 12/5
Middlesbrough win: 21/20
1st goal scorer:
Nick Proschwitz: 15/2
Danny Graham: 9/2
Referee- Darren Drysdale
Assistant Referees- Mark Dwyer & Ryan Johnson
Fourth Official- Simon Clayton