The Reds travel to Roots Hall this weekend to face Southend United for the first time since 2008.
It has proved a happy hunting ground in the past with Barnsley losing only once in Essex since 1992, however the Tykes are looking for their away league win in two months.
Since their promotion from League Two last season, the Shrimpers have adapted well to life in the third tier of English football.
Their home form has seen them win two of their last three home league games of the season while the Reds have only secured one victory in their previous 10 league outings.
Barnsley have not lost any of the previous eight league meetings with their last defeat coming back in 1995.
The sides have met more recently in the third round of the FA Cup in 2008, with the Reds running out 1-0 winners at Roots Hall on their way to the semi-final, beating Liverpool and Chelsea in the process.
Victory this afternoon would extend the Tykes’ winning run over the Shrimpers to three games for the first time in Barnsley’s history.
In all competitions, Southend have beaten Barnsley once in 11 attempts.
Ryan Williams is facing a race to be fit for Barnsley after persistent groin trouble while Joe Rothwell may be included in the side after suffering tonsillitis.
Dan Crowley, Simeon Jackson and Conor Wilkinson have returned following international duty and are all pushing for selection.
Conor Hourihane had a scan yesterday and it's unclear whether he'll be involved, but Josh Scowen returns to the squad after serving a one-match suspension.
Glen Rea has returned from international duty but an ankle problem for Noel Hunt and a hamstring issue for Adam Barrett mean they are unavailable.
Adam Thompson and Stephen McLaughlin are both nearing returns from a dislocated shoulder and illness respectively.
Man in the Middle
Charles Breakspear takes charge of Saturday’s fixture, his second game involving the Reds in his career, just shy of a year to the day since his first.
He took charge of last season’s clash with Peterborough at London Road on Saturday, October 18 which ended in a 2-1 Barnsley defeat and James Bailey being dismissed 13 minutes from time.
Breakspear has been fairly card happy so far this term, brandishing 39 yellow cards in 10 matches, including seven yellow cards in Colchester’s clash with Gillingham last month.
Last season, the Surrey-based official handed out six red cards in his first 10 games and went on to distribute 97 yellow cards in 29 games.
In his last two games in charge of a Southend tie, he has brandished seven yellow cards and one red.
Their Star Man
Goalkeeper Daniel Bentley was pivotal in Southend achieving promotion last season, after saving spot kicks from Wycombe’s Matt Bloomfield and Sam Wood in the League Two play-off final.
He had been linked with a move to Leeds United at the back end of last season and appeared to be lingering for a move to Premier League and Championship clubs in the summer.
His superb performances earned him supports player, players’ player and community player of the year for the club and the fans will no doubt be grateful he remains with the club.
He has been a major player in Southend’s good start to the season. Despite keeping four clean sheets so far this season, Bentley has made a host of dramatic saves to keep Southend in matches.
It could prove to be a long afternoon for the Reds trying to find a way past the impressive 22-year-old.
Defender Chris Barker’s professional career began with the Reds back in 1999 winning the young player of the season award in his first season, making 29 first division appearances.
He became the first player to claim the honour twice in the club’s history after winning the accolade the following season, making a further 46 appearances in all competitions.
His third season at the club saw him net his first and last three Reds goals, but he opted to drop down a division at the end of the campaign to join Cardiff City, for a fee totally £600,000 after extras.
After helping the Bluebirds gain promotion to the First Division and spending time away at clubs including Stoke City, Queens Park Rangers and Plymouth Argyle, Barker joined the Essex club in 2010.
He had previously spent a brief spell on-loan with the Shrimpers before making his move permanent and was named as player of the season in his first full campaign with the side.
He was named captain the following season, guiding the side to the 2011/12 season play-offs before losing to Crewe and was released by the club in August of 2013.
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