PREVIEW: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Barnsley!
Barnsley will be looking to build on their first away win of the season when they travel to Wolves on Tuesday night.
The Reds’ 2-1 triumph at Preston on Saturday was the Club’s first on the road this term following defeats at both Ipswich and Huddersfield.
Despite that however, Paul Heckingbottom’s side have won all three of their matches at home so far, meaning the weekend success in Lancashire saw them climb to third place in the Championship.
Hosts Wolves meanwhile, go into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw against Burton Albion after the Brewers netted a late equaliser at Molineux on Saturday.
That draw leaves Wolves in mid-table after what has been a decent start to the campaign for new manager Walter Zenga including two wins, three draws and just the one defeat.
Zenga – a former Italy international – replaced Kenny Jackett shortly before the start of the new season, and he will be keen to see his new side remain unbeaten at home on Tuesday evening, with three wins and two draws in all competitions so far at Molineux.
The Reds will be looking to end a seven-match losing streak at Molineux when they travel to face Wolves on Tuesday night.
Barnsley’s most recent defeat there came in August 2012 with goals from Stephen Ward, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and David Edwards earning the West Midlands-based outfit a 3-1 win.
That victory may have been the Club’s seventh in a row against the Tykes at home but it also extended their unbeaten Molineux run against Barnsley to 13 games; winning eight and drawing five.
Despite not tasting victory there since October 1991, the Reds have won four of the last five meetings between the sides at Oakwell and in the most recent clash between them, a late goal from Jacob Mellis secured a 2-1 triumph for the Club in February 2013.
Adam Armstrong will be pushing for a starting berth after coming on to net the winner on his Barnsley debut against Preston at the weekend.
The on-loan Newcastle forward was introduced in the 62nd minute, before hitting a brilliant winner 11 minutes from time to secure all three points for the Tykes.
Marley Watkins and Sam Winnall – who scored his first of the campaign against the Lilywhites – will be keen to hang onto their places in the side however, leaving Paul Heckingbottom with a good headache ahead of the trip to Wolves.
As well as Armstrong, Sam Morsy and Cole Kpekawa made their Barnsley debuts off the bench against Preston and both will be hoping for more game time on Tuesday night, while Adam Jackson and Saidy Janko will be looking to make their first appearances for the Club at Molineux.
Hosts Wolves could also hand debuts to a string of new signings, with Ola John, Romain Saiss and full-back Silvio yet to appear for the West Midlands-based side.
Richard Stearman, record signing Ivan Cavaleiro, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Paul Gladon did make their Wolves bows on Saturday however and will all be eager to continue in Walter Zenga’s starting XI against the Reds.
If the Italian does opt to make changes however, David Edwards, Jed Wallace and Joe Mason – who has two goals this season – will be chomping at the bit for a start, while Lee Evans and Nouha Dicko are both closing in on returns following injury.
Man in the Middle
The Tykes will aim to continue their fine form in the company of referee Andrew Madley on Tuesday night. The Club has won two out of their three meetings with the West Yorkshire-based official, including a 1-0 win against Doncaster in February.
Wolves, meanwhile, have won just one of their four games with Madley in charge; losing twice and drawing once.
Their most recent meeting with the Yorkshireman came in October of last season when they went down 4-2 at Derby County.
So far this term, Madley has watched over six games, brandishing 22 yellow cards; eight of which came in Brighton’s 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest last month.
Their Star Man
Despite making a number of new signings this summer following a takeover of the Club, it is one of Wolves’ recruits from last season who has the potential to be their standout performer this time out.
In January, the West Midlands-based side captured the signature of forward Joe Mason from Cardiff for an undisclosed fee on a three-and-a-half year contract.
Mason – who began his career at Plymouth before joining Cardiff in 2011 – was allowed to join Wolves despite scoring six times in the first half of last season and he made an instant impact at Molineux; bagging just three minutes into his debut against former Club Bolton.
The 25-year-old spent three separate loan spells with the Lancashire side during his time at Cardiff and after helping his new Club earn a 2-2 draw against them, he scored on his second appearance for Wolves but this time in a 2-1 home loss against Preston.
Although Mason only managed to find the back of the net once more last season, the Plymouth-born forward showed glimpses of what he could bring this time out and he has not disappointed; hitting two goals in his last five appearances.
Both of his strikes came in wins for Wolves against Reading and then local rivals Birmingham and despite not assisting so far this term, Mason is certainly one to watch for the Barnsley defence on Tuesday night.
He may have only played a combined total of 14 games during spells with Barnsley and Wolves but Emmanuel Frimpong is a player that both sets of supporters will not forget in a hurry.
It was Wolves that the larger-than-life character moved to first out of the two Clubs; joining them on loan in January 2012 from Arsenal.
With 14 appearances already for Arsenal in the 2011-12 season, Frimpong went straight into the Wolves side but despite a gutsy performance, Frank Lampard’s late strike meant the Ghanaian’s debut ended in defeat.
Following that appearance, the energetic midfielder went onto start the Club’s next four games but it was in his fifth outing for the West Midlands-based side that Frimpong suffered a serious knee injury and his loan spell was over.
After recovering from that injury, the one-time England youth international spent time on loan with both Charlton and Fulham during the 2012-13 season before he penned a permanent move to Barnsley halfway through the 2013-14 campaign.
With big things expected of him in the Championship, his time at Oakwell got off to the worst possible start with a red card on his debut as the Tykes suffered a 1-0 derby defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, in a game which also saw Jacob Mellis and Jermaine Johnson see red.
The Kumasi-born midfielder returned from suspension to help the Reds earn a 2-2 draw at Doncaster, which was one of nine appearances he made during his time at the Club.
Despite not scoring, the memorable character did taste victory four times with the Tykes including in his final outing for the Club as Chris O’Grady struck twice in a 4-1 away win at Yeovil.
That victory could not help the Reds survive relegation however and following their demotion to League One in May 2014, Frimpong was released after just four months at Oakwell.
Since leaving South Yorkshire, the midfield man spent two years with Russian Premier League side Ufa and in August he moved on for pastures new, agreeing a two-year deal with fellow Russian side Arsenal Tula.
Wolves’ last five at home: (WWDWD)
Wolves 2-1 Crawley Town (EFL Cup; 09/08/2016)
Wolves 2-0 Reading (13/08/2016)
Wolves 0-0 Ipswich Town (16/08/2016)
Wolves 2-1 Cambridge United (EFL Cup; 23/08/2016)
Wolves 1-1 Burton Albion (10/09/2016)
Barnsley’s last five away from home: (WWLLW)
Wigan Athletic 1-4 Barnsley (08/05/2016)
Walsall 1-3 Barnsley (19/05/2016)
Ipswich Town 4-2 Barnsley (06/08/2016)
Huddersfield Town 2-1 Barnsley (20/08/2016)
Preston North End 1-2 Barnsley (10/09/2016)
Going to the match?
Wolves play at Molineux, its address is as follows: Molineux Stadium, Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, WV1 4QR.
How to get there
By road from the north:
Exit M6 at junction 12. At island take third exit onto A5 for Wolverhampton. At the next island turn left onto A449. After six miles the A449 passes under the M54. Carry straight on and at the sixth island (Five Ways) take the third exit onto Waterloo Road.
Molineux is one mile straight on.
By road from the south west:
Exit M5 at junction 2. Follow the signs for Wolverhampton on the A4123 for eight miles to the Ring Road. Turn left on Ring Road, following signs for Molineux. Take second exit at next two islands, pass Banks’s Brewery and swimming baths on left and then turn left at next set of traffic lights.
Molineux is 500 yards on the right.
By road from the south east:
Exit M6 at junction 10. Take A454 via Willenhall to Wolverhampton Ring Road. At first Ring Road island, take the fourth exit (A449 to Stafford). Straight on at next two sets of traffic lights. Filter right at third set of lights into Waterloo Road.
Molineux is 500 yards on right.
From Wolverhampton railway/bus stations, follow the Ring Road, walking down the side of the Chubb buildings. Then at the major crossroads you will see Molineux to the left.
Adult - £30
Senior Over 65 - £15
Young Adult (17-21) - £15 proof of age required on turnstiles.
Juvenile (12-16 years) - £12
Juvenile Under 12 - £10
Tickets will remain on sale from the Box Office/Reds Superstore until 12 noon Tuesday 13th September, subject to availability. Online sales are now CLOSED.