It's Reds Vs Tigers tonight and here's our big match preview...
It’s back on the road again for Barnsley as Jose Morais’ side look to build on the weekend victory with another three points at Hull City on Tuesday night.
The rearranged fixture, moved due to the Tigers’ FA Cup run, comes just three days after Oli McBurnie’s double got the Reds back to winning ways against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s. A remarkable display and clean sheet stands the team in good stead for what could be another huge clash come the end of the Sky Bet Championship season.
The 2-0 success was the Reds’ first win since New Year’s Day at Sunderland, moving us above Blues and out of the relegation zone.
Nigel Adkins’ Hull side are another direct rival to Barnsley this campaign, sitting one point and one place above us going into the midweek match. The hosts have had an extra day to prepare for the game following their 1-0 win over Sheffield United on Friday night.
Much of the problem for the men from Humberside lies with their inconsistency. Hull are yet to win back-to-back games this season, and whilst many of their encounters are entertaining, their ability to score goals is cancelled out by their defensive record.
An encouraging away victory at Nottingham Forest for Adkins’ team was followed by a 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Chelsea and more recently a 3-1 loss against Middlesbrough before their win last Friday.
Hull City have been no stranger to the Football League in its entirety. A fantastic rise throughout the 2000s reignited the city’s passion for football and their third promotion in five seasons lifted the club into the Premier League in 2008.
Having gone from the old Division Three to the top flight, former manager Phil Brown guided them to Premier League survival in their debut season, with some impressive results along the way such as successive away victories at Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
After suffering relegation the following season, Hull bounced back in 2013, going on to reach the FA Cup final the year after in which they led 2-0 inside eight minutes against Arsenal, eventually being edged out 3-2 in extra-time.
The team’s cup run propelled them into Europa League football for the first time in their history, where they were eliminated on away goals by Belgian side Lokeren in the final qualifying round.
Hull have since swapped divisions in each of their last three seasons, and are now looking to re-establish themselves as a Championship outfit after their narrow drop from the Premier League last time out.
Hull have a fully capable squad on paper. Scottish goalkeeper Allan McGregor brings experience having exclusively featured between the posts in the league this season. The Tigers boast various defensive options, with former Red Angus MacDonald making the move to Humberside last month – he could be in line to start alongside their skipper, former England centre-half Michael Dawson. Hull have relied plenty on their trio of Chelsea loanees so far, with Jamaican international Michael Hector clocking up many appearances this season, along with young talents Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori. Local lad Max Clark has got 18 games under his belt this season as Adkins and former manager Leonid Slutsky have kept one eye on his squad’s youthful promise. Lightning full-back Moses Odubajo has been unable to feature so far this campaign through long-term injury, and fans will be excited for his return.
Hull’s midfield is packed with talent and experience at this level. Seb Larsson is likely to feature alongside Australia’s Jackson Irvine. Brazilian Evandro is an exciting player brought in during the Premier League days, with Spaniard Jon Toral and Norwegian Markus Henriksen also contributing to a talented array of overseas midfield men. Former Spurs and Liverpool man Kevin Stewart could too be in contention.
Up top and out wide, the Tigers maintain their strength on paper. Twelve-goal top scorer Jarrod Bowen has impressed many supporters at the KCOM, making up for the absences of Abel Hernandez and Will Keane for much of the season. Kamil Grosicki has put a good shift in with six goals and four assists, with Adama Diomande also recently back in the squad. Former Manchester United striker Fraizer Campbell netted the decider in the reverse fixture at Oakwell, and Nouha Dicko has been their most recent match-winner, scoring the solitary goal in last Friday’s win over the Blades.
In The Dugout
Nigel Adkins began his managerial career 25 years ago, and arrived at the KCOM last December as a replacement for Leonid Slutsky following an unconvincing first few months of the season.
Adkins formerly played as a goalkeeper for Wigan Athletic and Tranmere Rovers. After playing for and managing Bangor City in the Welsh League, he gained a physiotherapy degree and became a physio at Scunthorpe United.
An unorthodox route back into management, Adkins took the Scunthorpe job as caretaker-manager in 2006, subsequently appointed permanent boss. He has won promotion from League One with both Scunthorpe and his next club Southampton, with whom he later went one further and guided them to the Premier League in 2012 – where they have since remained.
Following spells at Reading and Sheffield United, Adkins – now 52 – is now looking to retain Hull’s Championship status this campaign.
Barnsley and Hull City have remarkably won 40 games each in this fixture, playing out 22 draws. The two have had many close encounters, with the Reds winning successive games against Hull before this season’s defeat, including a 1-0 FA Cup 4th Round victory on Humberside in 2013.
The three points on offer are massive in the race for Championship survival, meaning Tuesday night is the most high-stakes match between the two in a long time.