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Match Previews

Preview: Barnsley v Nottingham Forest

24 November 2016

Barnsley will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to five games when they host Nottingham Forest at Oakwell.

Since the Reds’ 2-0 defeat at home to Newcastle last month, Paul Heckingbottom’s side have secured a 2-0 win at Brentford, as well as three consecutive draws.

The most recent of those stalemates came on Saturday when the Tykes secured their second goalless draw on the bounce, but now sitting 15th in the Championship they will be aiming to turn those draws into wins.

Visitors Nottingham Forest arrive at Oakwell having ended a run of six games without an away win last weekend.

A brace from Britt Assombalonga secured a 2-0 success for Forest, which was also their first win in five both home and away.

The victory lifted Philippe Montanier’s outfit into 18th place and now just three points behind the Tykes they will be pushing for back-to-back triumphs on the road for the first time this season.

Previous Meetings

Barnsley will be looking to draw level on wins with Nottingham Forest in this fixture when the match kicks off under the Oakwell lights.

Forest lead the way on 28 victories, but the Reds moved to within one of that tally when the two Clubs last met in March 2014.

In what was a tightly contested affair, Dale Jennings’ second-half effort secured all three points for the Tykes in South Yorkshire.

That triumph was a first in seven for Barnsley against Forest following four draws and two defeats; with the most recent of those losses coming in September 2013 as Darius Henderson’s late winner clinched a 3-2 success for Friday night’s visitors at the City Ground.

Team News

Paul Heckingbottom will have to decide whether or not to stick with the same XI which earned a 0-0 draw against Wigan on Saturday.

The Barnsley Head Coach does have options if he chooses to alter his line-up, with Sam Morsy available once again, while Tom Bradshaw and Adam Hammill wait in the wings.

Saidy Janko will be hoping for more minutes after making his return from injury off the bench against Wigan but Aidy White is ruled out again through injury.

Nottingham Forest will be without Hildeberto Pereira for the second game running as he continues to serve a three-match ban.

That could see Daniel Pinillos start for the second match in a row after the Spanish full-back made his comeback on Saturday following an 11 month lay-off with knee ligament trouble.

Elsewhere, Forest will have to check on the fitness of Armand Traore (knee), David Vaughan (ribs) and Nicklas Bendtner (ankle) for the trip to South Yorkshire.

Man in the Middle 

Oliver Langford will take charge of a Barnsley game for the fourth time on Friday. 

The Reds have won two of their previous three meetings with the West Midlands based-official including a 3-2 home success against Middlesbrough back in October 2013.

Nottingham Forest meanwhile have met with Langford on nine occasions; winning four, drawing once and losing four.

Their most recent meeting with the referee came in January when he watched over Forest’s 1-0 FA Cup success against QPR.

Despite not crossing paths with either Barnsley or Forest so far this term, he has taken charge of 17 games; dishing out 50 yellows but no reds so far.

Their Star Man

Between August 2013 and February 2015, forward Britt Assombalonga hit 48 goals in 90 games for both Peterborough and Nottingham Forest following his transfer to the County Ground in August 2014.

The 48th of those strikes however would be the last to be scored by the former Watford man for 15 months after a serious knee injury ruled him out for the rest of the 2014-15 campaign, as well as nearly the entirety of last season.

Assombalonga – who signed a new five-year deal in September - did return in April; making four appearances at the back end of last term which included a winner against the MK Dons on the final day of the campaign.

That much needed goal gave the 23-year-old confidence going into this season and he struck three times in his first three matches. Unfortunately for the Zaire-born forward the third of those goals came just moments before he picked up yet another injury.

A hamstring problem, followed by a calf injury, saw Assombalonga ruled out for two months from August to October but after returning to make three substitute appearances towards the end of last month, he started and scored in Forest’s 1-1 draw against QPR three weeks ago.

Last weekend he continued his recovery with a double against Ipswich and now desperate to put his injury nightmares behind him, Assombalonga’s frightening pace, trickery and lethal finishing is exactly what Forest need to start climbing the Championship table.

Mutual Man

In November 2012 Barnsley completed the loan signing of striker Marcus Tudgay from Friday’s visitors Nottingham Forest.

It didn’t take the former Sheffield Wednesday man long to register his first goal for the Tykes; hitting an equaliser against Burnley in just his third appearance.

That was one of three which Tudgay would go onto score in nine appearances during his brief spell at Oakwell, including a 90th minute winner at Millwall. 

Despite returning to the County Ground, 11 months later and he was back in South Yorkshire. This time the Sussex-born forward appeared five times for the Reds; scoring once in a 1-1 draw at home to Yeovil.

His second spell at Oakwell would end negatively however, as he was shown a straight red card in Barnsley’s goalless draw at Leeds.

Another loan move, this time to Charlton, was followed by a permanent transfer to Coventry in July 2014 where he remains.

After originally joining Forest on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, Tudgay made 68 appearances in total for the Club, scoring 14 times. 

The highlight of the 33-year-old’s time at the County Ground came when he scored twice against his former employers Derby County in a 5-2 derby win on what was just his second outing for Forest. 

So far this term he has scored twice in 14 games for League One side Coventry.

Form Guide

Barnsley’s last five at home: (DLLDD)

Barnsley 1-1 Aston Villa (27/09/2016)

Barnsley 2-4 Fulham (15/10/2016)

Barnsley 0-2 Newcastle United (18/10/2016)

Barnsley 2-2 Bristol City (5/11/2016)

Barnsley 0-0 Wigan Athletic (19/11/2016)

Nottingham Forest’s last five on the road: (LLLLW)

Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Nottingham Forest (24/09/2016)

Bristol City 2-1 Nottingham Forest (01/10/2016)

Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Nottingham Forest (18/10/2016)

Reading 2-0 Nottingham Forest (29/10/2016)

Ipswich Town 0-2 Nottingham Forest (19/11/2016)

Tickets are still available for the Nottingham Forest match on Friday night. CLICK HERE to buy yours now for just £15 for Adults!


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