Rovers v Reds Match Preview
Rovers vs Reds
Saturday 15th February 2014
The Reds travel to the Keepmoat on Saturday to face a Doncaster side only seven points ahead of them in the race to avoid relegation.
Barnsley showed what it takes last weekend by taking a two goal lead against Ipswich, although sadly the result of that game summarised the season so far.
Danny Wilson will be hoping his side can earn a victory and reduce the gap between themselves and Doncaster whilst increasing the gap between themselves and the foot of the Championship table.
Doncaster are currently in a safe but albeit precarious position in the league and what this South Yorkshire derby could mean to both sides is magnified by how tight the bottom of the Championship table has become.
This will be the 67th time that this fixture has been played in the Football League.
Barnsley wins over Doncaster- 23
Doncaster wins over Barnsley- 24
The reverse fixture of this South Yorkshire derby earlier this season saw both sides share the spoils in a goalless draw at Oakwell.
One meeting between these two sides that stands out is Barnsley’s 4-1 win over Doncaster in 2008. On that day it was Doncaster who had taken the lead early on through a penalty but a fine second half comeback from the Reds sealed the win. Four second half goals isn’t something that the Oakwell crowd are used to and that result must have been a surprise to many,especially considering the Reds were down to ten men.
That game was also Barnsley’s biggest ever win over their South Yorkshire rivals and considering the potential that Danny Wilson’s side have been showing lately, Saturday’s game could be full of goals.
Players to watch
Chris O’Grady has been vital to Barnsley’s season up until this point and Danny Wilson won’t be alone in hoping his striker continues to fire.
O’Grady’s tally for the season so far is 11 after his goal last week against Ipswich put the Reds into the lead. Although the final outcome of that match wasn’t what Barnsley fans would have wanted, given the positive start, O’Grady’s goals remain as important as ever to the club’s efforts to avoid the drop.
Since joining the Reds on loan in 2013 from Sheffield Wednesday and his permanent move thereafter, O’Grady has so far scored 17 goals in 37 games for Barnsley.
After helping Doncaster to become the Champions of League One last year, David Cotterill was awarded a place in the PFA Team of the Year for League One.
Known for his long range shots and vision, Cotterill made a huge impact in League One last season and has continued his good form into this year.
At only 26 years of age, Cotterill is a player that seems to have been around for a long time and he is known to many throughout the football world. Given his age and the amount of sides that Cotterill has turned out for, he has been somewhat of a journeyman up until this point in his career.
After brief spells with Wigan, Sheffield United, Swansea and Portsmouth, Cotterill became a Barnsley player in early 2012 after being signed as free agent. 11 appearances and one goal later for the Reds, Cotterill’s time at the club ended after the then manager Keith Hill released him at the end of the 11/12 season.
As well as his club career, Cotterill is an accomplished international player with 20 caps and one goal for Wales.
Billy Sharp is suspended after he picked up a straight red card in last weekend’s loss to Brighton. During the week, Paul Dickov also refused to set a date for the comeback of youngster Harry Forrester who has been out long term with an ankle problem.
Barnsley boss Danny Wilson is happy that the majority of his squad are fully fit, the only exceptions to this are Bobby Hassell who is still out due to a calf injury and Jack Hunt is being monitored ahead of the derby.
Jacob Mellis is serving the second match of his three game suspension after his red card against Sheffield Wednesday whilst Emmanuel Frimpong is returning from his suspension, received in the same game.
Wilson is also hopeful that Ryan McLaughlin will return to training by the end of the week.
D- (H) Ipswich 2-2
L- (A) Sheffield Wednesday 1-0
D- (H) Blackburn Rovers 2-2
W- (H) Blackpool 2-0
D- (A) Birmingham 1-1
Since beating Blackpool, Barnsley have continued to struggle although last weekend things did look as though they were about to change. Going 2-0 up against play-off chasing Ipswich wasn’t something that many had seen coming and going into the final 10 minutes of the game, the three points looked to be in the bag.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be for Danny Wilson and his side. Ipswich aren’t a team in that position in the table for no reason and they took full advantage of any opportunities to claw the game back.
First it was Christophe Berra with 10 minutes left to go and then David McGoldrick made sure the party was ruined with a late free-kick.
Despite the result, a point against a team now only three points away from the play-offs was a good outcome for Barnsley.
Reds boss Danny Wilson said: “The performance wasn't disappointing; it was just a little bit frustrating at times. We defended too deep and instead of taking a forward step, we took a backward step and that helped them.”
L- (A) Brighton 1-0
D- (H) Middlesbrough 0-0
W- (H) Charlton 3-0
D- (A) Blackpool 1-1
W- (H) Wigan 3-0
Still perilously close to the drop zone, Doncaster have had mixed results lately including a three goal triumph over Wigan.
Although Paul Dickov’s side have struggled against teams from higher in the division, their record against sides from around them in the table looks good as his team seems fully capable of capitalising on opponents’ bad form.
The odds for Barnsley to win on their visit to the Keepmoat are 19/10 whilst the home side are priced at 11/8. The odds for a draw are 23/10.
Doncaster’s Chris Brown and Barnsley’s Chis O’Grady are both given odds of 11/8 to score on Saturday.
Why not back Liam Lawrence to score the opener and claim his first for the Reds with odds of 12/1?
Open your Barnsley Sky Bet
account and get a £30 free bet!
Referee- Andy D’Urso
Assistant Referees- Wayne Barratt & Alan Clayton
Fourth Official- Andrew Madley