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Match Previews

Preview: Barnsley v Preston.

3 February 2017

Barnsley will be looking to get back to winning ways when they welcome Preston to Oakwell.

Prior to the Reds’ home game with Wolves on Tuesday night, Paul Heckingbottom’s men had won seven of their last 10 league games.

That included back-to-back wins against Yorkshire rivals Leeds and Rotherham which saw the Club move to within a point of the play-offs.

Preston also have the top six in their sights and they went into their away match at Cardiff on Tuesday unbeaten in their last four on the road. However, a 2-0 defeat in the Welsh Capital ended that run.

Recent away trips have seen Simon Grayson’s men secure all three points at Bristol City and Burton, while they fought back from two goals down to earn a hard-fought point at Aston Villa last month.

Saturday’s game will be the Lilywhites’ third in South Yorkshire this season; with Grayson’s side winning at Rotherham in November but losing 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday in early December.

Previous Meetings

The Reds will be hoping for more success against the Lilywhites this afternoon.

Four of the last six meetings between the sides have ended in Barnsley wins, with one draw and just the one North End victory which came in December 2014 at Deepdale.

The most recent of Barnsley’s triumphs came earlier this season when Adam Armstrong netted a stunning late winner after Aiden McGeady had cancelled out Sam Winnall’s opener.

That success was the Reds’ 19th in this fixture but as the Club’s prepare to meet for the 54th time, Preston will be going in search of their 23rd victory against Paul Heckingbottom’s Reds.

Team News

Paul Heckingbottom may make a few changes after Tuesday night’s defeat against Wolves at Oakwell.

New signing Matty James will be likely to start with Alex Mowatt suspended, while Adam Armstrong will be looking to bag against the Lilywhites once again after hitting the winner against them five months ago.

Elsewhere, Aidy White continues to struggle with a pubis injury which has seen him join both Sessi D’Almeida and Saidy Janko in the treatment room.

Visitors Preston will be missing injured trio John Welsh (calf), Calum Woods (knee) and Alex Baptiste (knee).

One man who is almost certain to start at Oakwell however is Ben Pearson, with the former Tyke an instrumental figure in Preston’s midfield this season.

If boss Grayson opts to make changes to his side, Jermaine Beckford and January signings Daryl Horgan and Tyias Browning will be chomping at the bit for starting berths.

Man in the Middle

Oliver Langford will take charge of this fixture for the second time in his career on Saturday afternoon. The West Midlands based official was the man in the middle as the Reds secured a 2-1 victory at Deepdale in November 2010.

So far this season, Langford has already met with Barnsley once and it wasn’t a happy afternoon for the Reds, with the official sending off Marley Watkins in a 5-2 home defeat against Nottingham Forest in November.

That was the Club’s second defeat in his company, with one other win coming against Middlesbrough back in 2013.

Visitors Preston have met with Langford on eight previous occasions; winning two, drawing one and losing five.

Despite suffering those defeats, both of the Lilywhites’ victories have come this season; beating Wigan in September and Burton last month.

They are two of 29 games which Langford has watched over in total so far this term; dishing out 95 yellow cards and five reds.

Their Star Man

Plucked out of non-league by Port Vale in 2013, Jordan Hugill joined Saturday’s visitors Preston in June 2014 for an undisclosed fee.

The powerful forward’s first season with the Lilywhites – which saw him net two goals in just six appearances – ended with loan spells at both Tranmere and Hartlepool.

That time away from the Club appeared to help the Middlesbrough born forward however because he returned to Deepdale to bag five goals in 32 games last season, including a 90th minute equaliser against Leeds on the final day of the campaign.

With Hugill starting to show the potential which saw both Port Vale and Preston take a chance on him, he has continued to grow this term; scoring nine times so far, including a late equaliser against Ipswich last Saturday.

It’s not only goals that Hugill brings to this Preston side however, with his strength and power making him the ideal target man, as well as the perfect strike partner for the pacier Callum Robinson.

The 24-year-old’s old-fashioned style has attracted interest from elsewhere including Ipswich but with Hugill only signing a new contract at Deepdale in September, North End have a bright prospect on their hands who is certainly in it for the long term.

Mutual Man

Josh Brownhill will always be remembered by Barnsley fans as one of the key players who helped the Reds win promotion back to the second tier in 2016.

Signed on loan from Preston, the Warrington-born midfielder made his debut for the Club in a 3-0 win at Shrewsbury which was the first of 27 appearances he would make in South Yorkshire.

The 21-year-old started all but one of those games and netted three times for the Reds including one in the second leg of the League One play-off semi-final against Walsall.

Brownhill – who was once on the books at Manchester United – played the full 90 minutes in both the Football League Trophy and League One play-off finals, in what turned out to be a memorable campaign for the Club.

Following a fine season for the Reds, interest was high for the midfielder’s services and in June he turned down a new deal at Deepdale and instead opted for a move to Bristol City, where he teamed up with Lee Johnson who had originally brought him to Oakwell.

The former Tyke appeared 64 times in total for North End, scoring six including two in the 2014-15 season as he helped the Lilywhites clinch promotion to the Championship.

Despite that and six appearances at the start of last season, Brownhill was allowed to join the Reds in January 2016 and as they say, the rest is history.

Form Guide

Barnsley’s last five at home: (WDLWL)

Barnsley 2-0 Blackburn Rovers (26/12/2016)

Barnsley 2-2 Birmingham City (31/12/2016)

Barnsley 1-2 Blackpool (FA Cup) (17/01/2017)

Barnsley 3-2 Leeds (21/01/2017)

Barnsley 1-3 Wolves (31/01/2017)

Preston’s last five away from home: (DWWDL)

Nottingham Forest 1-1 Preston (14/12/2016)

Bristol City 1-2 Preston (17/12/2016)

Burton Albion 0-1 Preston (2/1/2017)

Aston Villa 2-2 Preston (21/1/2017)

Cardiff City 2-0 Preston (31/01/2017)



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