Barnsley vs QPR
Saturday 3rd May
Relegation was confirmed last weekend after the loss to Middlesbrough although Danny Wilson’s Barnsley side will be looking to end the season on a win in order to earn themselves some form of consolation.
QPR are already guaranteed to finish in 4th place this year although that position will be disappointing to most people associated with the London side. Having been relegated from the Premier League last year, QPR had been tipped as favourites for automatic promotion at the start of the season, however after sitting near the top of the table all year they have been unable to match the likes of Leicester and Burnley.
Plans are already underway for next season as Barnsley will be gunning to make a quick return to the second tier of English football but the visit of QPR this weekend could give Reds fans something to smile about as they look to leave the Championship behind.
This will be the 50th time that this fixture has been played in the Football League.
Barnsley wins over QPR-13
QPR wins over Barnsley- 26
When the Reds were the visitors at Loftus Road back in October, they were beaten 2-0 as two second half goals from Charlie Austin were enough to make sure that Barnsley went home empty handed.
That win for QPR put them joint top at the time with one game in hand on the sides around them and it was the sixth time in a row that QPR had beaten Barnsley.
The last time that the Reds were victorious against QPR was in 2009 when the teams met at Oakwell. That day goals from Daniel Bogdanovic and Anderson de Silva were enough to earn all three points for the Tykes.
Players to watch
Despite relegation this year, there have been several players whose stand out performances for Barnsley have helped the side no end.
Chris O’Grady has been Barnsley’s go to man for the goals this year and his scoring record for the Reds is on par with the best of his career. Signed from Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday in 2013, O’Grady has this season proved himself as a real goal threat for the Reds.
Between the posts, Luke Steele has been an ever-present for Barnsley and his performances have been crucial as he has helped the side to pick up points. Amassing more than 200 appearances for Barnsley so far, it is easy to see why Manchester United shelled out half a million pounds for him in 2002.
Despite spending important parts of the season out injured, Martin Cranie has still contributed to the side as he has been a first choice when fit. Cranie started his career with Southampton in their youth academy where he played with the likes of Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale. Now 27, Cranie has been with Barnsley since 2012 and has become an important part of the defensive set up.
QPR have been in the process of building a squad this season that they believe will take them back to the Premier League as soon as possible.
Charlie Austin has been impressive for QPR since signing in a big money move from Burnley last year. The fee was reported to be in the region of £4M, showing the ambition and intention of QPR for this season. Austin has so far come up with 16 goals this season, putting him amongst the top 10 scorers.
Before making it professionally, Austin played non-league football for some time whilst building his reputation in the local area. Eventually, Austin made the move the Swindon in 2009 and his career has been on the up since then.
In preparation for next season, Reds boss Danny Wilson is set to include some young faces in the squad for QPR’s visit to Oakwell.
Forward Danny Rose had been out on loan although he has been recalled, he could feature in the squad along with Jordan Clark, Rhys Oates, McCauley Shillito and Brad Abbott.
As QPR are already in the play-offs, Harry Redknapp may rest some of his more senior players. Redknapp will also be without Jermaine Jenas after the midfielder suffered a knee injury in training and will be out for up to six months.
L- (A) Middlesbrough 3-1
L- (A) Derby 2-1
L- (H) Leeds 1-0
W- (A) Charlton 2-1
L- (A) Bolton 1-0
D- (H) Millwall 1-1
W- (H) Watford 2-1
L- (A) Leicester 1-0
W- (H) Nottingham Forest 5-2
L- (A) Blackburn 2-0
Barnsley win: 23/10
QPR win: 23/20
1st goal scorer:
Chris O’Grady: 6/1
Charlie Austin: 7/2
Referee- Kevin Wright
Assistant Referees- Tony Peart & Richard Wigglesworth
Fourth Official- Gary Hilton