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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Swansea City Vs Barnsley

The inside track on the Reds' trip to South Wales

28 December 2019

The final game of 2019 is upon us as Barnsley head to West Glamorgan looking for back-to-back away victories - here's the preview!

The Reds served up a cracker of a performance on Boxing Day at Oakwell, as Gerhard Struber's side dominated league leaders, West Bromwich Albion for large spells and can count themselves unlucky not to have claimed all three points.

Just the solitary point was picked up, and we had to wait until the final minute of normal time for that to be secured, as Finland U21 international Aapo Halme struck his third goal on home soil this season. 

The result saw Barnsley drop to 23rd in the Sky Bet Championship table but the Reds extended their unbeaten run to four matches and maintained Struber's own unbeaten run at Oakwell. 

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With a bout of illness sweeping through the club during the festive period which saw the likes of Kenny Dougall and Mamadou Thiam miss out recently, Reds captain Alex Mowatt is the latest to go down with the bug and he's touch and go for the Swansea trip. 

In terms of our opponents on Sunday, in a 3pm kick-off at the Liberty Stadium, the Swans' form has been sketchy of late. Defeated away at Brentford on Boxing Day, they had won their previous two fixtures, against Middlesbrough (home) and Luton Town (away). For comparative reasons, before that they were blown away 5-1 by West Brom at the Hawthorns.

Led by former England youth coach Steve Cooper, the Jacks are likely to be without injured defenders Mike Van der Hoorn and Joe Rodon but have a wealth of talent in midfield and forward areas. 

Bersant Celina is the playmaker for Swansea. The Kosovan international, once of Manchester City is a player who makes his side tick. He drifts from central positions into wide areas and is difficult to pick up. 

In Andre Ayew they possess one of the division's most potent weapons. The Ghanaian international has 11 goals to his name so far this season, five in his last four games and it was he who scored the Swans' goal at Oakwell in our October 1-1 draw. 

That was the first game following the departure of former Head Coach, Daniel Stendel and Ayew's 67th minute opener was soon cancelled out by Alex Mowatt's wonderful finish and it was one of a number of matches this season where a dominant Reds side left the game knowing they should have got more than the scoreline suggested. 

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However, this isn't a particularly favourable fixture for Barnsley historically speaking. Indeed, you've to go way back to 1974 for our last success in South Wales - a 3-0 victory in the old Fourth Division. 

Our last trip to the Liberty Stadium saw us defeated 1-0, with a first half Jermaine Easter goal enough to give the hosts all three points back on the 28th December 2010. 

That is one of 35 wins in this clash for the Swans, with the Reds holding 24 victories and there have been just the 14 drawn affairs. 

Sunday's man in the middle is referee Antony Coggins. The Oxfordshire-based official is appearing at this level for the first time but has taken charge of a Reds game previously, as he officiated last season's 1-0 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers.

As an all-ticket clash, there will be no sales on the day at the Liberty Stadium but you can tune into iFollow Barnsley before kick-off for LIVE and uninterrupted commentary with our very own Matt Bailey on the mic. 


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