Barnsley vs Millwall
Saturday 22nd February 2014
After losing 2-0 away at Wigan during the week, Barnsley’s relegation battle faces one of its biggest challenges today as Danny Wilson’s side host fellow strugglers Millwall at Oakwell.
Ahead of Saturday’s game, the Reds sit 23rd in the Championship with 23 points whilst visitors Millwall sit two places above with 28.
The current situation at the bottom of the Championship makes for interesting reading as still half a dozen teams could easily still fall into the relegation zone.
The difference that three points could make to any team sitting at or around the bottom of the table could make is immeasurable. At this point in the season everyone is looking to break clear and take away the pressure of knowing what could be looming.
Given that, there is no doubt that both teams will be playing for a win this weekend and that surely will be reflected in how the teams line up.
This will be the 48th time that this fixture has been played in the Football League.
Barnsley wins over Millwall: 18
Millwall wins over Barnsley: 19
Barnsley’s games against Millwall over recent years haven’t been the most entertaining of affairs. Regardless of that, these fixtures always seem to bare huge importance on the league table.
When the Reds travelled to The Den earlier in the season, they were unlucky not to take all three points from Millwall. Instead it was an own goal from former defender Scott Wiseman that condemned the Reds.
Last season’s record against Millwall was impressive for the Reds, managing a 2-1 away victory and a 2-0 win at Oakwell. The Reds secured a league double over the Londoners which surely went a long way to helping them avoid relegation.
Danny Wilson will be hoping for a repeat of last season’s form this Saturday as his side find themselves in a similar relegation battle to what they managed to win last year.
Players to watch
This week Ian Holloway has bought in defender Federico Bessone to Millwall. Bessone had played for several other British clubs, most notably a spell at Swansea and a brief time at Oldham where he failed to make an appearance.
Martyn Woolford has been the usual man on the score sheet for Millwall so far this season. His seven goals make him the Lions’ top goal scorer and it is a contribution that has gone some way to making sure that that Ian Holloway’s side are out of the relegation zone at this point in the calendar.
On loan Reds striker Nick Proschwitz scored two goals against Doncaster last Saturday. Those goal scoring exploits saw him named in the Football League’s ‘Team of the Week’.
Since joining on loan from Hull, Proschwitz has scored some vital goals for the Reds and he will be hoping that they continue to come as we get ever closer to the business end of the season.
Danny Wilson is happy that there are no major injury concerns amongst his squad for this important game against Millwall on Saturday.
The only slight worry is over striker Chris O’Grady who may be carrying a knock, although did train during the week.
Aside from him, there are only a few other little niggles in the squad but Wilson is confident that there will be a clearer picture come the end of the week.
Several players return the Millwall side, including Mark Beevers, who is back from a calf injury and Shane Lowry who has finished his four game suspension.
These returning players offer Holloway more options for his team that they have been used to recently.
L- (A) Wigan 2-0
D - (A) Doncaster 2-2
D - (H) Ipswich 2-2
L - (A) Sheffield Wednesday 1-0
D- (H) Blackburn Rovers 2-2
D- (H) Bolton 1-1
D- (A) Yeovil 1-1
L- (A) Burnley 3-1
L- (H) Reading 3-0
D- (H) Sheffield Wednesday 1-1
Barnsley win: 5/4
Millwall win: 2/1
1st goal scorer:
Jacob Mellis is back from suspension and is given odds of 10/1 to score the opener.
Millwall loanee DJ Campbell is given odds of 13/2 to bag the game’s first goal.
Referee- Mark Brown
Assistant Referees- Karl Evans & Declan Ford
Fourth Official- Jason Tyas