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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Middlesbrough Vs Barnsley

The inside track on the Reds' trip to Boro

27 November 2019

We are back in Sky Bet Championship action on Wednesday 27th November as we head to Middlesbrough in a 7.45pm kick-off - here's the preview.

Following the weekend's defeat at Blackburn Rovers, the Reds remain on the road for a midweek trip north to Teesside to face fellow strugglers Middlesbrough. 

Barnsley put in a positive performance at Ewood Park but left 3-2 losers after more game-changing mistakes at the back. 

Brown celebrates

It was Gerhard Struber's first match since taking over as Head Coach just a week ago and having shuffled his pack within a new system he will have learnt more about his group of players going into this clash at the Riverside Stadium. 

The new boss and striker Patrick Schmidt spoke with the press in the week and you can watch both of their pre-match press conference videos by logging into iFollow Barnsley or clicking on the linked videos below.

Saturday's defeat at Blackburn, the Reds 10th of a torrid opening third of the 2019/20 season did see Cauley Woodrow notch his 7th goal of a productive campaign so far, and fellow forward Conor Chaplin came off the bench at half time to grab himself his first away goal for the club. The latter will be hoping to get a start on Wednesday night, but there are doubts over the fitness of one player who was withdrawn at the break in that match.

Defender Aapo Halme started the game in an unfamiliar midfield role and was doing a fine job before a head injury saw him unable to continue after the break. If unavailable it will probably give Kenny Dougall the opportunity to make his first start under his new gaffer. 

The Reds need to find a cure for their defensive hangover because they've scored in all of their last nine games, since losing 1-0 at Nottingham Forest.

Dougall

In terms of our hosts on Wednesday evening, whilst they haven't had as bad a start as the Reds, for the club who finished 7th last season to be sat where they are at present is pretty surprising. 

They have won just two games so far this season, their last being a 1-0 victory over Reading in mid-September. It's been 10 games without a win since which is their worst run at the level since the 1984/85 campaign. 

Keane & Woodgate

They are led by former fan favourite as a player, Jonathan Woodgate, in his first managerial role, assisted by former Irish star Robbie Keane. It's been a tough baptism of fire for the hometown boy in the Boro dougout and no doubt they will be viewing this week's clash as the game that can turn around their fortunes. 

Boro are going through something of a transitional phase. Long gone are the days of big-spending and paying their way up the division with the summer transfer window seeing the club recruit lesser-known names for undisclosed fees or free transfers. But within the squad remain some renowned Championship names with promotions on their CV.

Fletcher

The likes of Jonny Howson, Adam Clayton and Daniel Ayala have been there and done it for a number of clubs, including Boro and up front they can call on the talents of former Barnsley loanee striker Ashley Fletcher and the prolific Britt Assombalonga. 

No club in the division has scored fewer than Middlesbrough's 15 goals this season to date, with the Teessiders firing blanks on seven occasions. Defensively they've been more impressive and they operate a wing-backs system under Woodgate's guidance. But they are without a number of first teamers for this clash with the likes of Marvin Johnson and George Saville suspended while former Reds defender Ryan Shotton, full back George Friend and striker Rudy Gestede are out through injury. 

Relegated

Very similar to last time out against Blackburn, the Reds are about to face a side where history doesn't favour them in this particular fixture. The hosts on Wednesday night have 31 victories to Barnsley's 16, and we haven't won any of our four previous meetings, including the 26th April 2014 defeat at the Riverside that saw us relegated to the third tier. 

It was the same 3-1 scoreline the last time the two sides met, in March of 2018 when we last visited Teesside. The Reds were relegated at the end of that season also. 

It's six years since our last success at Boro when Jason Scotland's late winner helped the Reds to a 3-2 victory and a priceless three points on the way to a great escape.

Scotland scores

Middlesbrough (10 games) and Barnsley (16) are the two teams on the longest winless runs in the Championship. 

We have sold around 500 tickets for this fixture but for those not heading to the Riverside, we have LIVE coverage on iFollow Barnsley for both UK and overseas supporters. Joining Matt Bailey on commentary is Reds legend Bobby Hassell and you can enjoy the stream by clicking on the linked image below. 

Bobby on commentary

 


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