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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Barnsley Vs Middlesbrough

The inside track on the Reds against the Teessiders

21 February 2020

Barnsley are back on home soil this coming weekend with Boro visiting Oakwell in our latest Sky Bet Championship fixture - here's the preview.

After a much-needed victory last time out, Gerhard Struber's side are back home for what could be another vital moment in this 2019/20 campaign. 

The 3-0 win at Fulham breathed new life into the Reds' chances of retaining their Sky Bet Championship status. 

Completing a first league double of the season at Craven Cottage last Saturday, Barnsley were in fine form, putting in a performance that belied their recent struggles and position at the foot of the table. 

Former Fulham striker Cauley Woodrow returned to haunt the club where he started his career, scoring a brace which took him onto five goals from his last five games, making a real impact since returning from injury, moving onto 14 goals for the season in all competitions. 

There was also a welcome strike for Jacob Brown in the Cottagers win; his third of the season, all coming away from home. It's been a terrific debut year in the second tier for the young forward and hopefully he can continue to make an impact up front for Struber.

Reds boss, Struber and his fellow-countryman Patrick Schmidt were on press duty in midweek to help preview the clash with Middlesbrough and subscribers to iFollow Barnsley can watch both pre-match press conference interviews by clicking the linked videos below.

Club News

BE RED v Middlesbrough

21 February 2020

The Austrian coach revealed the sad news that Callum Styles will be out of action for the next month or so but also welcomed back another midfielder from his own injury issue, Marcel Ritzmaier who returned to training this week.

All this and more is discussed in over 30 minutes worth of chat in this week's pre-match press videos.

Barnsley remain in 24th going into the fixture but now six points off Stoke City in 21st who the Reds still have to play for a second time. 

Struber's men will be looking to make it back-to-back league victories for only the second time this season having previously managed it against QPR & Millwall in December.

The referee this Saturday, in charge of the whistle and ready to blow it in this highly-anticipated 3pm kick-off is experienced official Geoff Eltringham. 

We have to go back to August and our 2-0 defeat at Birmingham City for our last date with the man from County Durham. 

In terms of our visitors from the North East, Boro come into this one in arguably worse form than the Reds, having not registered a victory since New Year's Day when they beat Preston North End, which at the time was their fourth win on the bounce, and earned manager Jonathan Woodgate the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for December.

Only Cardiff City (14) have drawn more games than Boro (13) this season. They are nine games without a win in all competitions, which is the second such run of the season for them. They suffered a similar stretch of results between mid-September and the end of November last year, before beating Barnsley to break that sequence...

Interviews

Struber Pre-Boro

20 February 2020

This is Woodgate's first managerial role having been appointed in June of 2019. Three separate spells with his hometown club during a storied but injury-ravaged playing career, it was however with Leeds United and later Tottenham Hotspur that the central defender enjoyed most success, notably scoring the winning goal for the latter in the 2008 League Cup final against Chelsea. 

Boro have a good mix of young and old in their first team squad. The likes of Daniel Ayala, George Friend, Adam Clayton, Rudy Gestede and Jonny Howson have been there and done it at this level and above, whilst there is much promise in the shape of Lewis Wing, Dael Fry and Marcus Tavernier who've all broken into the team over the last few years following Middlesbrough's fall from the Premier League. 

Interviews

Schmidt Pre-Boro

20 February 2020

There is an Oakwell return on Saturday for former loanee-forward Ashley Fletcher. Having enjoyed a terrific spell with the Reds during the 2015/16 Sky Bet League One campaign in which he scored the opening goal in the club's 3-1 victory over Millwall in the playoff final, Fletcher would score against us earlier this season, capitalising on a defensive blunder to give Boro their 1-0 win at the Riverside.

Saturday sees the 61st meeting of the two clubs and it's a fixture the Teessiders have dominated, with double the amount of wins (32). It has been seven years since the last Reds victory, a 3-2 win in October of 2013 that is best remembered for Paddy McCourt's unbelievable solo goal. 

That was the Reds' third win on the spin against Middlesbrough, their best ever sequence in this particular clash. The worst home defeat for Barnsley was way back in 1902 when Boro hammered them 7-2 in a Division Two meeting. 

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