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Match Previews

Preview: Blackburn Rovers v Barnsley

7 April 2017

Barnsley will be looking to turn draws into wins when they travel to Blackburn Rovers this weekend.

The Reds have drawn four of their last seven games which leaves Paul Heckingbottom’s side in 13th place.

Despite losing their last three on the road, the Reds had won six out of 11 away from Oakwell prior to that recent run and they will be eager to return to winning ways on Saturday.

Hosts Blackburn go into the game following back-to-back defeats against promotion chasing sides Brighton and Reading.

Before that, Rovers had gone seven games unbeaten under new boss Tony Mowbray; winning two and drawing five.

Those recent losses mean Blackburn remain a point adrift of safety but unbeaten in their last five at Ewood Park in the league, it will be anything but an easy afternoon for the Reds.

Previous Meetings 

Barnsley will be hoping to secure their first win at Ewood Park in almost 18 years.

Goals from Gjorgi Hristov and Neil Shipperley earned the Reds a 2-1 win there in August 1999 but in the Club’s four visits since then, there has been one draw and three wins for Blackburn.

The most recent of those victories came in August 2013 when Jordan Rhodes struck twice in a 5-2 victory for Rovers against 10-man Barnsley.

Despite that loss, the Reds did secure a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture of that 2013-14 campaign and things got even better earlier this season, when efforts from Sam Winnall and Marley Watkins saw Barnsley record a 2-0 triumph against this weekend’s hosts.

That leaves the Reds on 12 wins in this fixture but with Blackburn leading the way on 30, Paul Heckingbottom’s men will be out to complete a league double come Saturday afternoon.

Team News

The Reds are set to be without defender Andy Yiadom once again due to a shoulder injury picked up against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.

That means Gethin Jones and Saidy Janko are likely to continue in the full-back positions, with Callum Elder missing the last four games due to a thigh problem.

Elsewhere, Adam Armstrong and Ryan Kent will be pushing for recalls but Aidy White (pelvis) and Sessi D’Almeida (knee) are still out.

Blackburn will have to check on the fitness of centre-back pairing Charlie Mulgrew and Darragh Lenihan after both players were withdrawn during Rovers’ defeat at Reading on Tuesday night.

Wes Brown and Tommie Hoban will be ready to step in if called upon, while Tony Mowbray will have to decide who leads the line for the Lancashire side with Marvin Emnes, Sam Gallagher, Lucas Joao and Liam Feeney all hoping to be involved.

Rovers are without a number of key players however including top goalscorer Danny Graham (groin), Gordon Greer (calf), Adam Henley (hamstring) and midfielder Corry Evans (groin).

Man in the Middle 

Oliver Langford will take charge of his third Barnsley game of the season this weekend. 

The West Midlands-based official was the man in the middle for the Reds goalless draw against Preston in February, as well as the Club’s 5-2 home defeat against Nottingham Forest back in November when Langford showed Marley Watkins a straight red card.

They are two of five Reds’ games which he has overseen in total; with Barnsley winning two, losing two and drawing one.

Blackburn have also seen red when Langford has been at the helm this season, with the official sending off Rovers defender Gordon Greer in the Club’s 3-2 home defeat against Brighton in December.

It was a slightly better afternoon for the Lancashire outfit two months later however as they secured a 1-1 draw at Rotherham in Langford’s company.

They are two of 39 games which he has overseen this term; handing out five red cards in total, as well as 120 yellows.

Their Star Man

He may not be the star name in Blackburn’s attack but Elliott Bennett has showcased in recent weeks that he could be the man to help keep Blackburn in the division this season.

The former Brighton and Norwich winger has netted twice in his last three appearances, with screamers against both Preston and Reading.

They are two of four which he has bagged in his last 12 outings; becoming a real favourite under new boss Tony Mowbray.

It’s not only goals which the 28-year-old has provided in recent weeks however, with Bennett displaying his importance to this Rovers side with several hardworking and committed performances.   

In the absence of injured top goalscorer Danny Graham, Bennett will need to continue adding to his goalscoring exploits but with Rovers fighting tooth and nail to stay in the division, Bennett has shown on numerous occasions that he is ready for the scrap.

Mutual Man

In August 2014 Barnsley completed the signing of winger Keith Treacy from Burnley on a free transfer.

The Republic of Ireland international penned a two-year deal at Oakwell and made his debut for the Reds in a 1-0 home defeat against Crawley Town.

It was the first of 16 appearances he would make for the Club, which included just the one goal as he netted a late consolation against Chesterfield in a surprise 2-1 defeat.

Unfortunately for the Irishman things didn’t work out in South Yorkshire and in January 2015, less than six months into his two-year deal, and he left the Club by mutual consent.

The former Tyke has since returned to his native Ireland but it was actually Blackburn who first brought the direct winger to these shores.

After originally joining the Club’s youth team, he penned his first professional deal at Ewood Park in 2005; making his debut in October 2007 as a late substitute against Portsmouth in the League Cup.

In total Treacy played 22 times for Rovers, with all but two of his appearances coming in the 2008-09 season as he helped the Lancashire outfit to a 15th place finish in the Premier League.

Despite that, he then spent time on loan with Sheffield United before permanent spells with Preston and Burnley ahead of his move to Oakwell.

Form Guide

Barnsley’s last five away from home: (DWLLL)

Reading 0-0 Barnsley
Aston Villa 1-3 Barnsley
Derby County 2-1 Barnsley
QPR 2-1 Barnsley
Norwich 2-0 Barnsley

Blackburn’s last five at home: (LWWDD)

Blackburn 1-2 Manchester United (FA Cup)
Blackburn 1-0 Derby
Blackburn 1-0 Wigan
Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff
Blackburn 2-2 Preston North End

Going to the match?

Blackburn Rovers play at Ewood Park, its address is as follows:

Blackburn Rovers Football Club

Ewood Park

Blackburn

BB2 4JF

How to get there

By Car

From the North:

Leave the M6 at Junction 30 and join the M61, at the first exit join the M65 and head East to Blackburn.

Ewood Park is well signposted on the M65, leave at junction 4, join the A666 and head towards Blackburn. Ewood Park is about a mile away on your right.

From the South:

Leave the M6 at Junction 29 and join the M65 and head East to Blackburn. 

Ewood Park is well signposted on the M65, leave at junction 4, join the A666 and head towards Blackburn. Ewood Park is about a mile away on your right.

From the West:

From the M6/M62 or M60, join the M61, leave the M61 for the M65 and head East to Blackburn.

Ewood Park is well signposted on the M65, leave at junction 4, join the A666 and head towards Blackburn. Ewood Park is about a mile away on your right.

From the East:

Travelling from Yorkshire, either on the B6234, the A56 Haslingden by-pass or the Skipton Road, join the M65 and head West. Leave the M65 at junction 4 and head towards Blackburn on the A666, Ewood Park is about a mile from the motorway on the right hand side.

From the M62 leave at Junction 18 for the M66 Bury, travel to the end of the Motorway which becomes the A56, join the M65 at Junction 8 and head Westbound towards Blackburn. Leave the M65 at junction 4 and head towards Blackburn on the A666, Ewood Park is about a mile from the motorway on the right hand side.

By Train

Blackburn station is approximately a mile and a half from Ewood Park. Mill Hill station is approximately one mile away from the ground. 

There are direct trains from Manchester Victoria, Salford Crescent and Preston. 

By Bus:

The buses serving Ewood Park are: No. 1 (Bolton - Darwen - Blackburn) and No. 24 (Chorley - Blackburn)

The frequency of buses serving Ewood Park is every 10 minutes. For timetables see www.lancashirebus.co.uk

If people require any further information they should use the Traveline website or telephone number: www.traveline.org.uk 0871 200 22 33


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