Barnsley will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday night’s derby defeat at Sheffield Wednesday when they travel to Cardiff tomorrow.
The 2-0 loss at Hillsborough halted the Reds two-match winning streak and also brought to an end the Club’s three-game unbeaten run on the road.
Despite that however, Paul Heckingbottom’s men remain in 12th place and could move to within three points of the play-offs with victory in South Wales.
Neil Warnock’s Cardiff side will have other ideas however, after their 2-1 midweek win against Wolves moved them out of the relegation zone.
It also means the Bluebirds have lost just once in their last five outings and with seven points picked up from the last nine available at home, they’ll prove stern opposition for the Reds.
Barnsley will be targeting a first victory against Cardiff since February 2010 on Saturday.
On that occasion, a brace from Daniel Bogdanovic was enough to earn an away win for the Reds and in the process help the Club complete a league double over the Bluebirds.
Since that game however, Barnsley have lost four and drawn two against the Welsh outfit, with the most recent meeting coming in April 2013 when Stephen Foster rescued a late point for the Reds in Wales.
That was the 11th draw to be played between the Clubs but with Cardiff leading the way on 23 wins in this fixture compared to Barnsley’s 13, Hecky’s men will be looking to change that record, starting this weekend.
Marley Watkins returns to the squad for the trip to Cardiff following his three-match ban.
The Reds will be without Adam Hammill however, after the winger was sent off in Tuesday night’s defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Adam Armstrong (knee), Saidy Janko (hamstring) and Adam Jackson (hamstring) remain doubtful, while Aidy White (gluteal) is still out.
For hosts Cardiff, Bruno Manga is likely to continue at the heart of their defence with Sol Bamba serving the final match of his two-game ban.
In attack Craig Noone and Kenneth Zohore will be eager to start after coming off the bench to impress on Tuesday night, while Anthony Pilkington will be hoping his winning goal against Wolves is enough to earn him the nod once again.
Boss Neil Warnock does have other options available to him as well however, with Ricky Lambert chomping at the bit after being rested in midweek.
Man in the Middle
Tony Harrington will take charge of a Barnsley game for the second time this season on Saturday and the Reds will be hoping for more of the same.
That is because the Cleveland-based official was the man in the middle for the Reds 2-0 home win against Derby in August, which was the Club’s third victory in his company, as well as one draw and one defeat.
Cardiff will also be meeting with Harrington for a second time this term, after he watched over the Welsh Club’s 2-1 loss at Newcastle last month.
The Bluebirds fared much better in their only other game to be officiated by Saturday’s referee however, beating Bolton 3-2 in December 2015.
In total Harrington has taken charge of 16 games this season, handing out 71 yellow cards and just two reds.
Their Star Man
He may have turned 32 in September but midfielder Peter Whittingham remains the brains and driving force behind this Cardiff City side.
The Bluebirds’ captain – who celebrates 10 years with the Club in January – is close to agreeing a new deal in South Wales, with his contract due to expire at the end of the campaign.
So far this term, the former Aston Villa man has made 21 appearances for Cardiff; scoring three and assisting four. The most recent of those assists came on Tuesday night, as the set-piece specialist saw his corner headed in by defender Matt Connolly.
The ex-England U21 international brings much more to this Cardiff side than just goals and assists however, with his ability to link defence and attack invaluable, while boss Neil Warnock has described his captain as a “one-off.”
That ability has seen Whittingham make nearly 450 appearances for the Bluebirds but with the midfield maestro showing no signs of letting up, the Reds will be doing all they can to stop the Cardiff captain from finding his rhythm this weekend.
In January 2014 Barnsley completed the signing of former Premier League midfielder Liam Lawrence on a free transfer following a spell with Greek outfit PAOK.
After 18 months in Greece, Lawrence made his return to English football as an 83rd minute substitute against Blackpool; a game which the Reds won 2-0.
With an abundance of experience to his name, hopes were high that Lawrence would help the Club’s survival bid but despite scoring in a 4-1 victory at Yeovil, as well as featuring in further wins against Nottingham Forest, Reading and Charlton, it wasn’t enough and the Reds finished five points adrift of safety.
In total the versatile midfielder made 14 appearances at Oakwell – 10 of which were starts – but following that relegation, he was not offered a new deal by the Club.
Following that spell in South Yorkshire, the Retford-born winger spent a year-and-a-half at Shrewsbury before joining Bristol Rovers last January, where he remains today.
They became the ninth Club of the former Republic of Ireland international’s career, which includes Saturday’s hosts Cardiff City.
Lawrence spent time with the Bluebirds prior to his move to Greece, appearing 15 times for the Welsh outfit on loan from Portsmouth as they reached the Championship play-off semi-finals.
Unfortunately for Lawrence his spell in South Wales didn’t end with promotion but his one and only goal for Cardiff actually came against the Reds, as he headed in Andrew Taylor’s cross to earn the Bluebirds a narrow 1-0 triumph at Oakwell in April 2012.
Barnsley's last five away from home: (LWDWL)
Leeds United 2-1 Barnsley
Brentford 0-2 Barnsley
Burton Albion 0-0 Barnsley
Birmingham City 0-3 Barnsley
Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Barnsley
Cardiff’s last five at home: (DLWDW)
Cardiff 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Cardiff 0-1 Wigan Athletic
Cardiff 3-2 Huddersfield Town
Cardiff 0-0 Brighton
Cardiff 2-1 Wolves
Going to the match?
Cardiff City play at the Cardiff City Stadium, its address is as follows:
Cardiff City Stadium
How to get there
Leave the M4 at junction 33 and take the A4232 towards Cardiff/Barry. Exit the A4232 on to the B4267 turn-off, signposted towards Cardiff City Stadium. You'll see the stadium on the horizon as you approach the turn-off.
Follow the slip-road off the B4267 and take the first left at the roundabout - the Stadium will be on your right hand side.
N.B. Parking at Cardiff City Stadium is limited. Parking spaces are predominantly designated to Season Ticket Holders, with the remaining spaces allocated on a first come first served basis. There are alternative parking areas within a short walking distance of the ground.
The railway station in closest proximity to Cardiff City Stadium is now Grangetown Station. We are approximately a 5-10 minute walk away from Grangetown, which you can get to by taking a connecting train from Cardiff's main station, Cardiff Central.
There are direct trains from London Paddington, Birmingham, the south coast and south-west England, with connections from the rest of the National Rail network to Central Station - a step free station with staff assistance available.
There are local bus routes and stops that provide excellent access to Cardiff City Stadium.
It's easy to walk to Cardiff City Stadium, with footpaths and direct routes from most areas of the city. To walk from the centre of Cardiff to the Stadium will take approximately half an hour. You will need to head south west of the Millennium Stadium towards the Riverside area of the town, then follow signs to the Stadium.
N.B Supporters are advised to think of their own safety when walking to the Stadium, particularly during evening games or when visibility is reduced. Always be aware of traffic around you and think about your route home when leaving at the end of the game.
Senior Over 60: £18.00
Young Adult (16-21 years): £13.00
Juvenile Under 16: £10.00
Family Area Seating (Strictly sold to adults/seniors with children under 16 only):
Senior Over 60: £12.00
Young Adult (16-21 years): £10.00
Juvenile Under 16: £5.00
Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 under 16s): £40.00