Owls v Tykes
The Reds face a tough trip to Hillsborough today where Danny Wilson’s men will be looking to pick up points for the third consecutive game.
Tuesday’s much anticipated meeting with Blackburn ended with Barnsley rescuing a draw late on through a Chris O’Grady penalty. Much to the happiness of the Barnsley faithful, new loan singing Nick Proschwitz also scored for the club on his debut.
Being honest about his team’s performance, Barnsley boss Danny Wilson said: “They [Blackburn] picked up the ball in midfield and played through us. Getting them in at half-time was a bonus from my point of view at only being a goal down. We got away with it. We have to be honest."
One positive for the Reds is that the team have been scoring of late, something that had eluded them earlier in the season.
Just how far Barnsley have come in the last few months will surely be put to the test against Yorkshire rivals and fellow league strugglers Sheffield Wednesday this weekend. Having lifted themselves from the bottom of the Championship table in midweek, Barnsley will definitely have Wednesday in their sights.
Wednesday, on the other hand, aren’t in a too dissimilar situation to Barnsley - only three points away from the relegation zone and still very much part of the battle to stay up. It should be an exciting game as both sides will realise the importance of this fixture.
This will be the 64th time that this fixture has been played in the Football League.
Barnsley wins over Sheffield Wednesday- 20
Sheffield Wednesday wins over Barnsley- 30
This fixture earlier in the season ended with both sides sharing the spoils as the game at Oakwell ended 1-1.
Since that result, both sides have found it difficult to pick up points in the league and now as we have entered the second half of the season, both managers will be looking to take at least something from every match.
This fixture hasn’t always ended with low scoring draws however, as some of the older sets of both fans will know. Back in the 1951/52 season Barnsley came out 5-4 winners in what was an enthralling match. Both teams no doubt will be hoping for a less nerve-wracking game this time round, although the prospect of another nine goal thriller may excite some.
Players to watch
Chris O’Grady has been in good form for Barnsley all season and he has contributed nicely to the race for safety with 10 goals so far and would surely like to add another as he returns to Hillsborough for the first time.
His attacking partner Nick Proschwitz is also looking good after kicking off his Barnsley career in scoring form earlier this week, no doubt he will be in search of another goal to make his parent club Hull remember why they paid £2.6M for his services.
Despite disappointing league form, Wednesday have done remarkably well in the FA Cup this year, with a fifth round match against Charlton not too far away.
The shock 6-0 win over Leeds is also still in the recent memory of Owls fans. Wednesday striker Atdhe Nuhiu has been performing well, whilst Reda Johnson has also been looking dangerous.
Considering the recent records of both sides, a goalless draw doesn’t seem too likely, given how much three points could mean to either team.
Owls fans will be sad to see the back of Connor Wickham as he was recalled by his parent club Sunderland earlier this week. That move leaves the door open for Wednesday’s other players to fill his scoring boots.
Wickham’s departure has prompted the loan signing of Arsenal striker Benik Afobe, he is expected to make his debut for the Owls in this anticipated derby.
Wednesday will also be without Giles Coke after he received a red card in Tuesday’s game away at Millwall.
Barnsley’s highest profile signing during the window was probably that of Emmanuel Frimpong. Since signing a permanent deal on deadline day for the Reds, he looks likely to head straight into the squad for the
derby. Frimpong is known for his aggression and charisma and they are two attributes that will fit well in this Yorkshire derby.
Ryan McLaughlin, on loan from Liverpool at Barnsley, has been ruled out for a minimum of four weeks after suffering a tear to his hamstring. This setback forced Reds boss Danny Wilson to make a move for another loan player, bringing in Jack Hunt from Crystal Palace for the remainder of the campaign. However, McLaughlin will remain a Red for the remainder of the season.
Hunt may make his debut on Saturday at Hillsborough and he will be looking to make an impact in what could be such an important debut.
Liam Lawrence will be looking to claim his stake for a start after his substitute appearance towards the end of Tuesday’s game against Blackburn.
Danny Wilson’s squad is almost fully fit as Jacob Mellis and Bobby Hassell could both make their returns from injury.
D- (H) Blackburn 2-2
W- (H) Blackpool 2-0
D- (A) Birmingham 1-1
L- (H) Derby 2-1
L- (H) Bolton 1-0
Barnsley’s last two results will have certainly pleased both the manager and the fans. Considering the importance of this game, everyone will be hoping that Barnsley can use the last two results as a platform to mount a late surge up from the bottom of the league table.
D- (A) Millwall 1-1
D- (A) Burnley 1-1
W- (H) Leeds 6-0
W- (H) Blackpool 2-0
D- (A) Charlton 1-1
This record doesn’t look to be representative of a struggling team at the foot of the Championship table. Picking up nine points from their last five games, Wednesday aren’t exactly struggling of late. Quite the opposite really, under new boss Stuart Gray the club has experienced a miniature revival.
Sheffield Wednesday are the bookies favourites for Saturday’s game, priced at 21/20 to win. The odds for Barnsley to win are 11/4. A draw is priced at 23/10.
Wednesday front man Nuhiu is priced at 7/4 to get a goal in the 90 minutes whilst Chris O’Grady and Nick Proschwitz are both given odds of 12/5 to continue their scoring form.
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Referee- Andre Marriner
Assistants- Harry Lennard & John Flynn
Fourth Official- Stephen Bratt