Sheff Utd v Barnsley - Saturday 23rd April - 12:30pm KO.
Barnsley will look to leapfrog Gillingham into the final play-off spot with a win at South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds currently sit outside the top six on goal difference and with only two games left to play after this weekend, Paul Heckingbottom’s men will be doing all they can to record a fifth win in eight league games.
Two of those victories have come on the road for the Reds and having won eight of their last 11 games away from Oakwell they travel to Bramall Lane full of confidence.
Despite that, the Blades are also looking to make a late play-off push of their own, with Nigel Adkins’ men currently only four points behind sixth placed Gillingham.
Saturday’s hosts have climbed into that position after some fine recent form which has seen them win four of their last six games including their last two on the bounce.
Both of those victories came away from Bramall Lane but the Club’s home form has also been excellent in recent weeks; picking up 13 points from the last 18 available in front of their home faithful.
Barnsley will be hoping to secure a second consecutive victory at Bramall Lane when they face Sheffield United this weekend.
That comes following the Reds 1-0 win last season when Sam Winnall netted the only goal of the game in what was the first meeting between the Clubs in just over three years.
Despite that success and extending their unbeaten run at Bramall Lane to three games, the Blades got their revenge in April of last season with a 2-0 triumph at Oakwell courtesy of strikes from Steve Davies and Jason Holt.
With that win taking United onto 26 in total in this fixture compared to 16 for the Reds, Barnsley aimed to cut that deficit when the two sides met earlier this season but Conor Hourihane’s last gasp strike was only enough to earn the Tykes a 1-1 draw against the Blades.
Josh Scowen could deputise at full-back once again for the Reds on Saturday afternoon.
The versatile midfielder has started the last two games at right-back with Aidy White (abdomen), James Bree and George Smith (both hamstring) all on the treatment table and with the trio unlikely to return it could be a case of same again for Scowen at Bramall Lane.
Elsewhere, Paul Heckingbottom will have to decide whether to partner top goal scorer Sam Winnall with Ashley Fletcher or Ivan Toney in attack, while Harry Chapman will be pushing for a start after coming on as a substitute against Peterborough on Tuesday night.
Hosts Sheffield United meanwhile could name an unchanged line-up for the fifth game in a row.
The same United XI has secured three victories and one draw in their last four outings and boss Nigel Adkins is unlikely to tamper with a winning team.
If he does opt to add some fresh legs to his side however, Connor Sammon and Martyn Woolford are waiting in the wings but one man who will not be available is defender John Brayford, who remains on the sidelines with a calf problem.
Man in the Middle
Barnsley will be hoping to secure their first victory in the company of referee David Coote on Saturday afternoon. Coote has taken charge of the Reds on four previous occasions but unfortunately for the Tykes, three have ended in defeat and one as a draw.
The most recent of those clashes came in February of last season when Fleetwood earned a 2-1 win at Oakwell, which came just 10 days after Coote watched over Sheffield United’s 2-0 home win against Swindon Town.
Unlike the Reds, that was the Blades third win in the Nottinghamshire-based official’s company and with two draws also coming their way with Coote as the man in the middle they have enjoyed some good fortune.
Saturday’s referee has also never shown a red card in a game involving the Blades or the Reds but so far this term he has brandished five, as well as 97 yellows in 27 games.
Their Star Man
In July Billy Sharp returned to Sheffield United for a third spell with the Club following a transfer from Leeds United. The forward – who began his career with the Blades and also enjoyed a spell with the Club between 2007 and 2010 – arrived for an undisclosed fee on a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.
Having only netted 13 times for the Club during his first two spells, Sharp immediately set about making his mark at Bramall Lane and it took the former Doncaster and Southampton man just four games to register. That strike – which came in a 2-0 win at home to Blackpool – was also the start of a goal scoring spree for the 30-year-old which saw him net six goals in seven games.
With many in awe of his fine start to life back in Sheffield, Sharp then scored only once in his next 13 outings but that form was soon forgotten with a prolific spell during December and January which saw the Sheffield-born front man hit seven goals in eight outings including a winner against former Club Scunthorpe.
Sharp – who only found the back of the net five times for Leeds last season – has continued his fine form throughout the second half of the campaign; adding another six to his tally in his last 11 appearances, with Tuesday night’s strike against Shrewsbury making it 20 for the season.
The in-form forward also has four assists to his name this term and with the ex-Nottingham Forest loanee desperate to be back playing at a higher level with the Blades, the Reds will have to be wary of his goal scoring prowess come Saturday afternoon.
He may have started his career at West Ham after progressing through the Club’s infamous academy but it was a spell at Barnsley which saw Kyel Reid gain his first prolonged spell of first team action in senior football.
Joining the Club on loan in November 2006 - just three days before he turned 19 – Reid made his Reds debut as a late substitute in the Club’s 1-0 home win against Ipswich. Just three days later however and the winger experienced an eventful second outing for the Tykes, first scoring and then getting sent off in 2-0 success against Southend at Oakwell.
Following his suspension, Reid returned to make his first start in Barnsley colours in a 1-1 draw with West Brom. The former England youth international would go onto make another 11 starts at Oakwell and with 14 appearances off the bench as well for the up-and-coming talent he appeared 26 times in total, scoring twice before returning to Upton Park at the end of the 2006-07 campaign.
Further loan spells at Crystal Palace, Blackpool and Wolves then came the attacker’s way before he completed a permanent transfer from the Hammers in July 2009; joining Saturday’s hosts Sheffield United on a free transfer.
The pacey wide man made his Blades bow in a disappointing 2-1 home League Cup defeat against Port Vale and despite starting that game, it would prove to be his only one in a United shirt. That is because London-born Reid then made just seven substitute appearances for the Bramall Lane outfit before he joined Charlton on loan for the second half of the 2009-10 season where he scored four goals in 18 outings.
At the end of that campaign he turned his Charlton move into a permanent one, ending his disappointing stay in Sheffield. A season at the Valley was then followed by a three-year stay back in Yorkshire with Bradford and despite joining Preston in July 2014, the former Tyke returned to Bradford on loan in October; scoring four times for the Bantams so far this term.
Sheffield United’s last five at home: (LWWWD)
Sheffield United 0-1 Burton Albion
Sheffield United 3-0 Oldham Athletic
Sheffield United 3-2 Crewe Alexandra
Sheffield United 2-0 Walsall
Sheffield United 0-0 Gillingham
Barnsley’s last five on the road: (WWWWD)
Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Barnsley
Walsall 1-3 Barnsley
Fleetwood Town 0-2 Barnsley
Port Vale 0-1 Barnsley
Burton Albion 0-0 Barnsley
Going to the match?
Sheffield United play at Bramall Lane, its full address is as follows:
Sheffield United Football Club
How to get there
Take the second left into Shoreham Street and the ground is on the right.
Exit the M1 at Junction 33 following signs to Sheffield (A57), continue along the Sheffield parkway until you reach the Park Square roundabout. Take the third exit and follow the A61 Sheaf Street. Sheffield Railway Station is on your left, at the Sheaf Street roundabout, continue ahead onto Suffolk Street. At the Granville Square roundabout turn right onto St Mary's Road.
From the North:
Exit the M1 at Junction 29 and take the A617 towards Chesterfield. Continue into Chesterfield and at the roundabout junction with the A61 take the third exit towards Sheffield. Continue on the A61 through Dronfield and into Sheffield. Continue past the Earl of Arundel and Surrey Public House on the left. Take the next left onto Bramall Lane and the ground is on the right.
From the South:
Take the second left into Shoreham Street and the ground is on the right.
Exit the M1 at Junction 31 or 33 and take the A57 to the roundabout, take the third exit onto Sheaf Street. Sheffield Railway Station is on your left, at the Sheaf Street roundabout, continue ahead onto Suffolk Street. At the Granville Square roundabout turn right onto St Mary's Road.
From the East:
Take the A57 into Sheffield and take the fourth exit at roundabout into Upper Hanover Street and at the second roundabout take the third exit Bramall Lane.
From the West:
Non Match Day Car Parking
Sheffield, S2 4SU
(Main car park) Cherry Street
Sheffield, S1 4ST
(Behind the Kop) Shoreham Street
Sidney Street, Sheffield, S1 4EG
Rockingham Way, Sheffield, S1 4JD
Furnival Gate, Matilda Way, Sheffield, S1 4QJ
Eyre Street, Sheffield, S1 4QW
Atkinsons, Charter Row, Sheffield, S1 4HR
Off-Street Match Day Parking
From High Street, services 20/20a, 25/25a, 75, 76, 97 & 98 will take you to London Road/John Street.
From Arundel Gate service numbers 33, 43, 44/44a (Chesterfield) or 252 will take you to Bramall Lane.
From the Sheffield Interchange, services 47 and 48 will take you to Shoreham Street. Service 53 (Low Edges) will take you to Queens Road.
The ground is a few minutes’ walk from Sheffield Railway Station (one mile).
This stop is served by the Blue and Purple routes from the city centre bound for Halfway and Herdings Park respectively.
The ground is approximately a 10 minute walk from Granville Road (Sheffield College) Tram Stop.
and no tickets will be available to buy on the day of the game. Please be aware that online sales for this fixture have now finished, however tickets can still be purchased in person at the Reds Superstore or by telephoning the BFC Box Office on 01226 211 183.ALL-TICKETWe would like to remind Barnsley supporters that Saturday's game against Sheffield United has been designated
£14Students (full time with valid NUS):
£14Young Adult (18-21 years):
PLEASE NOTE: UNDER 14'S ARE NOT PERMITTED INTO THE STADIUM UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT.
The Official Club Coaches have now SOLD OUT.
Tickets will remain on sale from the Box Office/Reds Superstore until 4pm Friday 22nd April, subject to availability.