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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Barnsley v Cardiff

4 April 2017

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Barnsley v Cardiff

4 April 2017

Barnsley will be hoping to make home advantage count when they welcome Cardiff City to Oakwell this evening.

Prior to the derby clash with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, the Reds had drawn three of their last four at home; losing just three times in 10 games in front of their own faithful, and that now stands at four of the last five following Angus MacDonald’s stoppage time equaliser. 

That form leaves Paul Heckingbottom’s side in mid-table, which is where you will also find tonight’s visitors Cardiff.

The Bluebirds have enjoyed a strong second half to the season under Neil Warnock; winning eight of their 15 matches since the turn of the year before their trip to Wolves on Saturday.

That has included impressive wins on the road at the likes of Derby and Leeds in recent times but with Cardiff’s stronger performances coming at home - where they have lost just one of their last seven – the Reds will be confident of picking up a positive result.

Previous Meetings

Barnsley will be looking to end a run of three straight home defeats against Cardiff.

Since the Reds’ 1-0 success back in November 2009, the Bluebirds have left Oakwell with maximum points on every occasion including their most recent visit in November 2012 when Aron Gunnarsson’s goal was the difference.

Despite struggling at home in recent times in this fixture, Barnsley are unbeaten in the last two games to be played between the sides; drawing 1-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium in April 2013 before winning a thrilling encounter in South Wales earlier this season.

The Reds fought back from a goal down to lead 3-1 and although the Bluebirds levelled the scores at 3-3 with two late goals, Ryan Williams struck even later to secure a dramatic 4-3 triumph for Paul Heckingbottom’s men.

That leaves Barnsley on 14 wins in this fixture but with Cardiff leading the way on 23 victories, the Reds will be out to complete a first league double over the Bluebirds since the 2009-10 season.

Team News 

Paul Heckingbottom may opt to rotate his squad slightly with this the Club’s second game in four days.

Former Swansea man Ryan Hedges will be looking to play some part against the Bluebirds, while Saidy Janko will be hoping to continue his recovery from injury with more game time at Oakwell following an impressive performance against Sheffield Wednesday. 

The Reds do remain without Aidy White however, who stays on the sidelines following surgery.

For Cardiff, Bruno Manga will be eager to be involved after recently returning from knee ligament damage he suffered at the African Cup of Nations.

Elsewhere, Declan John could feature against his former side, but Neil Warnock is still without long-term absentees Lee Peltier, Rhys Healey and Matthew Connolly.

Man in the Middle

Scott Duncan will take charge of a Barnsley game for the second time this season.

The Northumberland-based official endured a controversial afternoon at Oakwell back in December after sending off Barnsley’s Marc Roberts and awarding Birmingham a penalty.

That game ended 2-2 which was the Reds’ first draw in Duncan’s company; previously winning once and losing twice.

Cardiff also drew 2-2 when Duncan watched over their clash with Fulham in February, with the Bluebirds drawing three in total and losing twice with today’s referee in charge.

So far this term, the Newcastle-born official has been the man in the middle for 31 games; dishing out 87 yellow cards and nine reds.

Their Star Man

Things can turn around very quickly in football and that has certainly been the case for Cardiff striker Kenneth Zohore.

The Denmark U21 international netted just twice in a 12-game loan spell with the Bluebirds last season and although he did enough to secure a permanent move to South Wales in July, he struck only once in his first 13 outings of this campaign.

Since the turn of the year however, and the ex-Brondby and Fiorentina man has been a revelation; bagging nine goals in his last 10 games.

Thriving under the guidance of Warnock, Zohore has hit braces against Rotherham, Fulham and Ipswich, while he also scored a memorable solo goal against Preston to kick start his hot streak of form.

The Copenhagen-born forward is now showcasing the raw talent which saw him have trials with Chelsea and Inter Milan earlier in his career, but not only that, he has also added a work ethic into his game which has seen him become a real fans favourite at the Cardiff City Stadium.

With his confidence now sky high and his commitment second to none, Cardiff’s powerful front man will be desperate to add even more goals to his tally in the coming weeks.

Mutual Man

Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull spent three separate spells at Oakwell after first joining the Reds from Middlesbrough in April 2004.

The Bishop Auckland-born stopper made three appearances during that first stay which saw him help the Club secure a 3-2 win at Stockport.

Six months later however and Turnbull was back in South Yorkshire, this time spending a longer stint with the Club; making 24 starts and keeping seven clean sheets including one on his debut against Brentford.

The former England youth international spent the following 2005-06 season with Crewe, before his next loan move took him to South Wales and to Cardiff in July 2007.

Although he made just eight appearances for the Bluebirds, Turnbull kept three clean sheets and helped tonight’s visitors to wins against Brighton, QPR, Leyton Orient and Norwich.

That loan move would be his final one away from Middlesbrough and in July 2009 the 32-year-old joined Chelsea where he spent four years before one season at Doncaster.

It was following his time with Donny that Turnbull re-joined Barnsley for a third time in July 2014 on a free transfer.

He made his third debut for the Reds in a 2-1 defeat at Port Vale, which was one of 27 appearances he made for the Club during the 2014-15 season which saw him keep eight clean sheets including one at Sheffield United in a narrow 1-0 derby win.

Unfortunately the shot-stopper’s season was cut short by injury and in July 2015 he left for pastures new; penning a two-year deal with Leeds where he remains today.

Form Guide

Barnsley’s last five at home before playing Sheffield Wednesday: (LDLDD)

Barnsley 1-3 Wolves (31/1/2017)

Barnsley 0-0 Preston (4/2/2017)

Barnsley 0-2 Brighton (18/2/2017)

Barnsley 1-1 Huddersfield (25/2/2017)

Barnsley 1-1 Ipswich (11/3/2017)

Cardiff’s last five on the road before playing Wolves on Saturday: (LWWLD)

Reading 2-1 Cardiff (28/1/2017)

Leeds 0-2 Cardiff (11/2/2017)

Derby 3-4 Cardiff (14/2/2017)

QPR 2-1 Cardiff (4/3/2017)

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff (7/3/2017)

Tickets are still available for the match by CLICKING HERE.

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