Since the Club’s 2-0 defeat at Fulham in mid-January, Paul Heckingbottom’s side have picked up wins at both Rotherham and Aston Villa, as well as a goalless draw at promotion chasing Reading.
That loss against Fulham is one of just two defeats for the Reds in their last 10 on the road and Heckingbottom will be keen to see that form continue on Saturday.
Derby sit two points below the Reds following their 1-0 loss at Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night.
That result means the Rams have now gone six league games without a win including three defeats in their last four outings.
Despite that, Steve McClaren’s men have lost just once in their last 12 at Pride Park and they will be eager to make home advantage count come Saturday afternoon.
The Reds will be searching for their first win at Pride Park since September 2009.
On that occasion goals from Adam Hammill, Andy Gray and Anderson de Silva secured a dramatic 3-2 triumph for the Club, but since then the Reds have drawn two and lost two in Derby.
The most recent of those losses came three years ago when Jeff Hendrick and Johnny Russell netted for the Rams but despite that success, Barnsley did taste victory when the two sides met earlier this season, with a Scott Carson own goal and Alfie Mawson’s second-half effort earning all three points for Paul Heckingbottom’s side.
It was the Club’s 19th win in this fixture, but with Derby leading the way on 29 triumphs, the Reds will be out to complete a first league double against the Rams since the 1983/84 season.
Tom Bradshaw will be pushing for a recall after dropping to the bench against Huddersfield last weekend.
The Wales international netted twice in the Reds’ last away game at Villa Park and he will be keen to start alongside Adam Armstrong in attack at Pride Park.
Elsewhere, George Moncur and Adam Hammill will also be hoping to be included in Paul Heckingbottom’s starting XI but Saidy Janko and Sessi D’Almeida remain on the sidelines.
Hosts Derby may be without captain Richard Keogh once again after a calf injury ruled him out of the Club’s match at Blackburn on Tuesday night.
Darren Bent also missed that game with a knock and he will need to be assessed, while Nick Blackman and Jason Shackell continue to struggle with knee and back injuries respectively.
Man in the Middle
Keith Stroud will take charge of a Barnsley game for the fourth time this season and it has been a mixed bag of results for the Reds in his company so far.
The Hampshire-based official oversaw the Club’s 4-2 loss at Ipswich on the opening day of the season, as well as the Reds defeat by the same scoreline against Fulham at Oakwell in October.
Stroud also sent off Barnsley’s Josh Scowen in that game but despite those defeats, the Reds enjoyed a better afternoon under his charge in January as he watched over the Club’s 1-0 derby win at Rotherham.
That was one of five victories which Barnsley have enjoyed in his company; also drawing twice and losing twice.
Derby meanwhile, have won 11 and lost five of their 16 meetings with Stroud; but Saturday will be the first time they have crossed paths with him this season.
Despite that, Stroud has taken charge of 33 games in total so far this term; handing out 157 yellow cards and 11 reds.
Their Star Man
He may have made a slow start to the season but Tom Ince has more than made up for it in recent months.
The former Liverpool youngster – who netted just once in his first 17 games – has struck 11 times in his last 21 outings including braces against both Wolves and Rotherham.
His total of 12 goals so far this term is the same tally he has netted in each of the past two campaigns but with 12 games left to play, the 25-year-old is well on course to beat his previous best return of 18 which came in the 2012-13 season while at Blackpool.
It’s not only goals which Ince brings to this Derby side however, with his pace and trickery a constant outlet for Steve McClaren’s side while he has also provided five assists for the Rams.
Having enjoyed a taste of the Premier League with both Crystal Palace and Hull City, the Stockport-born winger will be desperate to return there in the very near future and with a whole host of Clubs interested in his services, it remains to be seen how long Derby can hold onto their prized asset.
Ashley Ward is a player who will always be remembered fondly at Oakwell. The forward joined the Reds from Saturday’s hosts Derby in September 1997 as the Reds began their first ever season in the Premiership.
Despite suffering relegation at the end of the campaign, Ward created some memorable moments for the Club including winners against Crystal Palace, former Club Derby, Aston Villa and of course, Liverpool at Anfield in November 1997.
The Lancashire-born front man also netted in further top flight wins against Coventry, Tottenham, Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday, as the Reds fought bravely to remain in the top flight.
It wasn’t just Ward’s impressive return of 25 goals in 61 appearances which made him a real fans’ favourite at Oakwell however, with his tenacity and incredible work rate also fully appreciated by the Barnsley faithful.
Following the Club’s relegation, the former Manchester City and Leicester man hit 15 goals in his first 23 games of the 1998-99 campaign which included a bizarre five minute spell which saw Ward score, miss a penalty and receive a red card against Sunderland.
That would prove to be his penultimate appearance for the Reds before a transfer to Blackburn in December 1998, where he spent 18 months before spells back in Yorkshire with Bradford and then his final Club Sheffield United.
Ahead of his move to Oakwell, Ward bagged 10 goals in 44 appearances for Derby after joining the Rams from Norwich City in March 1996.
Although he had to endure several injury problems during his spell at the Baseball Ground, the now 46-year-old also struck some significant goals for the Rams including an injury-time winner against Chelsea in March 1997.
Derby finished 12th in the Premiership in that campaign, which was Ward’s one full season at the Club before his switch to Barnsley in September 1997.
Barnsley’s last five on the road: (DLWDW)
Blackpool 0-0 Barnsley (FA Cup)
Fulham 2-0 Barnsley
Rotherham 0-1 Barnsley
Reading 0-0 Barnsley
Aston Villa 1-3 Barnsley
Derby’s last five at home: (WDDLD)
Derby 3-2 Reading
Derby 2-2 Leicester City (FA Cup)
Derby 3-3 Bristol City
Derby 3-4 Cardiff
Derby 0-0 Burton Albion
Going to the match?
Derby County play at Pride Park, its address is as follows:
Pride Park Stadium
How to get there
From the North:
Exit the M1 at Junction 28 and follow the A38 South towards Derby. Remain on the A38 until the roundabout with the A61 (Signposted Derby A61), where the brown football signs will direct you along the A61 towards Pride Park Stadium.
Remain on the A61 until the Pentagon Island roundabout where the signposts will direct you onto the A52 towards Nottingham and Spondon.
Take the first exit from the A52 (signposted for the Wyvern Centre) and follow the slip road until you reach a roundabout. At the roundabout take the second exit (right turn) along Wyvern Way.
Follow Wyvern Way until you reach the next roundabout and take a left onto Derwent Parade. Go straight on (second exit) at the first roundabout you reach, which is next to the stadium, and turn left (first exit) at the second roundabout you reach – onto Royal Way.
The West Car Park is the first turning on your left.
From the South:
Exit the M1 at Junction 25 and follow the A52 West towards Derby. Remain on the A52 for 5½ miles until you reach the junction for Pride Park.
Follow the exit slip road to the Wyvern Way roundabout and once there go straight on (2nd exit) to join Derwent Parade.
Go straight on (second exit) at the first roundabout you reach, which is next to the stadium, and turn left (first exit) at the second roundabout you reach – onto Royal Way.
The West Car Park is the first turning on your left.
From the West:
Travel along the A50 dual carriageway until you reach Junction 2 (signposted A6, Derby), where you should exit from the A50 and head north along the A6.
At the first roundabout you come to turn left (second exit), following signs for Away Supporters and the Moorways Centre.
Follow the road until you reach the Raynesway roundabout and turn right (second exit) along the A6 (London Road), signposted for the City Centre.
Remain on the A6 (London Road) heading in the direction of Derby City Centre until you reach a roundabout. Turn right at the roundabout (third exit) heading along Harrow Street towards Pride Park on the A6.
At the traffic lights continue straight on towards Pride Park, heading along Pride Parkway and over the railway bridge. At the roundabout turn right (third exit) into Royal Way.
The West Car Park is the third turning on your right.
Parking for away supporters is provided at the Derby Conference Centre on London Road (A6), which is located at DE24 8UX about a 10-15 minute walk from Pride Park Stadium.
There is space for 200 vehicles, and the charge is £5 per car. As you come into Derby you can follow the brown road signs for away supporter parking which will guide you towards the Conference Centre.
Derby station offers direct rail services from no less than 14 major towns and cities, as well as numerous local centres.
You can find more travel details for Pride Park here: http://www.wearederby.com/travel/ipro/