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Match Previews

Reds v Preston North End: Match Preview

20 March 2015

Barnsley v Preston North End

Barnsley will be hoping to continue their play-off push when they host high-flying Preston North End at Oakwell on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides go into the game bang in form, with the Reds unbeaten in their last seven outings and North End sitting second after picking up 25 points from the last 27 available.

Six wins and six clean sheets during Barnsley’s recent revival leaves them in the final play-off spot  and with the opportunity to win a fourth consecutive home game for the first time in over two years, Lee Johnson’s side will be eager to continue their extraordinary turnaround in form.

If they are to do that, the Reds will have to be on the top of their game with North End unbeaten in nine League One games, including three wins in their last three outings against the MK Dons, Crewe and Peterborough.

The Club’s 2-0 success at stadium:MK was the Lilywhites' third in a row away from Deepdale but with back-to-back defeats on the road prior to their current run, the Reds can take heart ahead of what promises to be an entertaining affair at Oakwell.

Previous Meetings

Barnsley and Preston will meet for the 52ndtime on Saturday, with the Reds looking to get revenge for a 22nddefeat in this fixture earlier in the season.

On Boxing Day Paul Gallagher’s 16thminute penalty was enough to earn victory for Simon Grayson’s side and in the process end a three-match winning streak for the Reds in this clash.

In the 2010-11 campaign Barnsley completed the double with a narrow 2-1 success in Lancashire, before earning a slightly more handsome 2-0 triumph back at Oakwell after goals from Garry O’Connor and Danny Haynes.

The season prior to that however and North End secured an impressive 3-0 success at Oakwell but despite that the Reds did manage to avenge that result with a three-goal winning margin of their own as they won 4-1 at Deepdale; beginning their three-game winning streak.

Team News

Forward Milan Lalkovic will begin a three-match ban on Saturday following his sending off on Tuesday night at Leyton Orient.

The former Chelsea man was shown a straight red card for a two-footed tackle and will miss the Club’s games against Preston, Bristol City and Sheffield United.

On a positive note for boss Lee Johnson, Sam Winnall started his first game for over three months at the Matchroom Stadium and featured for 76 minutes as the Reds drew 0-0 with the O’s.

If the 10-goal striker shows no ill-effects from that run-out, Johnson could decide to go with an unchanged XI against Simon Grayson’s side.

For the Lilywhites, manager Grayson will have to decide whether to shuffle his pack ahead of the trip to South Yorkshire with experienced forwards Kevin Davies and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake pushing for starts.

Attacking trio Joe Garner, Jermaine Beckford and Callum Robinson have given North End a pacey-looking attack in recent weeks but if former Huddersfield boss Grayson opts for experience at Oakwell, Davies and Ebanks-Blake will be more than ready to impress.

In midfield Chris Humphrey and Neil Kilkenny are also chomping at the bit for a starting berth but with the automatic promotion hopefuls on top form it may be a case of same again for the Lilywhites.

Man in the Middle

North East-based referee Eddie Ilderton will take charge of his 26thgame of the season when the Reds host Preston at Oakwell. The official has been rather lenient so far this term however; brandishing 76 yellow cards and just one red which was shown to Chesterfield’s Sam Morsy back in December in his sides 1-0 home defeat against Bradford. Ilderton’s most recent outing came on Tuesday night as he ruled over Oldham’s 3-1 home defeat against the MK Dons; in a game in which no cards were produced.

Ilderton – who will be assisted by linesman Glen Hart and Tony Peart, as well as fourth official Matthew Bristow at Oakwell – is no stranger to both sides, having taken charge of eight Barnsley games and 18 Preston matches in the past. Both Clubs have also enjoyed some favourable results in Ilderton’s company, with the Reds winning four, drawing three and losing just one of their matches, with the most recent meeting coming in February 2012 when Barnsley defeated Portsmouth 2-0 at Oakwell. Preston, meanwhile, have tasted success on 13 occasions when Ilderton has been in charge including earlier this season when they beat neighbours Fleetwood Town 3-2 at Deepdale.

Their Star Man

Barnsley will come up against one of League One’s most prolific strikers on Saturday, with Blackburn-born Joe Garner netting 20 times in 31 games so far this season. Remarkably, the forward has also missed over two months of the campaign with a tendon injury but after returning last month the former Carlisle and Nottingham Forest man has gone onto net eight times.

The 26-year-old began the campaign in fine form; bagging three times in his first two games and despite a four-game lull, Garner struck five times in his next six outings. The ex-England youth international – who found the back of the net 24 times last season - hit his first hat-trick of the campaign in October as North End defeated local rivals Fleetwood 3-2 and despite scoring just once in seven games around his injury, the front man has bounced back with eight strikes in nine matches. Four of those goals came last Saturday as the forward went goal crazy in North End’s 5-1 triumph against Crewe and although the former Huddersfield Town loanee failed to notch on Tuesday night, the Reds’ back four will have to be on their toes come Saturday afternoon.

Mutual Man

Sheffield-born Nicky Wroe is a name both sets of supporters will remember well, with the midfielder spending two seasons as a Preston player, as well as being a product of the Barnsley youth set-up. The 29-year-old made his Reds debut in May 2003 against Wigan at the age of just 17 and scored his first goal for the Club in the following season as he struck the Club’s first in a 3-2 success at Stockport. After two campaigns of familiarising himself with the first-team, Wroe became a regular in the 2004-05 season; making 35 appearances for the Reds in League One.

The former England C international featured 16 times as the Club won promotion to the Championship via the play-offs in 2006 but failed to start regularly in the second tier and after a loan spell with Bury, the energetic midfielder was released from his Barnsley contract in May 2007. Spells with Hamilton Academicals, York City, Shrewsbury and Torquay followed before Wroe earned a switch to Preston North End after bagging six goals in 44 games to help Shrewsbury win promotion to League One in the previous campaign.

An impressive 11 strikes in 47 outings would adhere the midfielder to the Deepdale faithful during his first season in Lancashire, including a goal on his debut in a 2-0 home League Cup win against Huddersfield. A brace in the next round against Crystal Palace followed and after hitting a hat-trick at Scunthorpe in October 2012 the midfielder’s stock really began to rise at Deepdale. Surprisingly however, Wroe fell down the pecking order for the Lilywhites last season as former Club Shrewsbury as well as Oxford United became temporary homes for the Barnsley academy graduate. Those loan spells signalled the end of Wroe’s time at North End and ahead of this season he joined Notts County on a two-year deal.

Form Guide

Barnsley’s last five at home: (WLWWW)

Barnsley 1-0 Oldham Athletic

Barnsley 1-2 Fleetwood Town 

Barnsley 2-0 Crewe Alexandra

Barnsley 1-0 Coventry City

Barnsley 3-0 Walsall


Preston’s last five on the road: (LWWWW)

Crawley Town 2-1 Preston North End

Sheffield United 1-3 Preston North End (FA Cup)

Chesterfield 0-2 Preston North End

Oldham Athletic 0-4 Preston North End

MK Dons 0-2 Preston North End


Ticket Information

**Advance purchase only. Not available on the turnstiles. Price only applies when purchased with and adult or Over 65s ticket.
*Advance purchase price only. Not available on the turnstiles.      

Juvenile (Under 12)**: £5      
Juvenile (16 and under)*: £10      
Young Adult (17-21): £15      
Over 65: £15      
Adult: £20      
Family Area***

Juvenile (Under 12)**: £5      
Juvenile (16 and under)*: £10      
Young Adult (17-21): £16      
Over 65: £16      
Adult: £23      
CK Beckett Stand

Juvenile (Under 12)**: £5      
Juvenile (16 and under)*: £10      
Young Adult (17-21): £17      
Over 65: £17      
Adult: £24      
East Stand/West Stand Lower

Juvenile (Under 12)**: £5      
Juvenile (16 and under)*: £10      
Young Adult (17-21): £18      
Over 65: £18      
Adult: £25      
East Stand Upper/West Stand Upper

***Tickets sold in the CK Beckett Family Area (F14, F15 & F16) are strictly for families only. Adults without Juveniles and unaccompanied Juveniles are not permitted into the Family Area.


Buy online, buy in person at the BFC Box Office or over the telephone (booking fees apply) on 0871 22 66 777.



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