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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Charlton Athletic Vs Barnsley

The inside track on the Reds' trip to the capital

31 January 2020

It's back down to the bread and butter of league action this weekend, and it's a big one - here's the preview!

After Barnsley's hugely disappointing exit from the FA Cup last weekend, the sole focus is league football now and trying to fight their way out of a perilous position in the Sky Bet Championship table.

The humbling at Fratton Park was deeply frustrating for Head Coach, Gerhard Struber who spoke of his anger at the performance, as the Reds succumbed 4-2, a scoreline that perhaps flattered the visitors. 

Portsmouth were rewarded with a plum tie against Arsenal in the last 16. The Reds have to dust themselves down and prepare for a huge game at The Valley.

In the context of this tough season for Barnsley, and certainly after midweek results upped the ante, the trip to Charlton Athletic will be viewed by many as the proverbial 'must-win' match. With the Addicks sitting just outside the bottom three and six points ahead of Struber's side, going into the game in poor form, it's difficult to argue against the size of this one. 

Ahead of the 380-mile round-trip, the latest in a long line of long-distance away fixtures, both Struber and his countryman Michael Sollbauer met with the press in midweek to help preview the Charlton clash and subscribers to our video streaming platform iFollow Barnsley can enjoy both of their pre-match press conference interviews by clicking on the linked videos below.

Saturday's hosts began the 2019/20 campaign in surprising fashion. Having joined the Reds and Luton Town in being promoted last term, by beating Sunderland in the Sky Bet League One playoff final, the Addicks set off like a train and were early Championship pace-setters, and right up until mid-October they were sat in and around the top six. 

But a defeat away at Bristol City triggered a run of form and results that has seen them drop like a stone in the league standings. They've won once in 17 fixtures, that one win being - funnily enough - against The Robins on Boxing Day. 

There have been a number of draws in that sequence however, with notable ones against both West Brom and Fulham (last time out). 

Led by former playing hero and one-time England international midfielder Lee Bowyer, the Addicks were beset with injury issues until recently, missing the likes of Welsh international Jonny Williams and star striker Lyle Taylor. 

It was Taylor whose last-gasp penalty kick salvaged a point at Oakwell when the two sides first met at the start of the campaign. The future of their seven-goal forward was up in the air before the closure of the January transfer window.

The Addicks did complete the loan-signing of Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady ahead of this weekend's clash.

But Charlton must view February as their month of destiny. As well as the Reds fixture, they also face Luton Town, Stoke City and Huddersfield Town this month and being just four points above the drop-zone going into Saturday, the pressure is on for Bowyer and his side.

As previously referred to, both sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw when meeting at Oakwell in mid-August. Despite going ahead twice through Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin, the Addicks struck through Taylor in the 89th minute with his trademark, nonchalant penalty stroked home to force a share of the spoils.

In terms of our last trip to The Valley, that came during last season's promotion campaign and an uncharacteristic Reds performance saw them easily beaten 2-0. You've to go back to April of 2014 for the last Barnsley victory there - a 2-1 win. 

Barnsley have actually done quite well against Charlton in the last 20 years, with just two defeats in the last 13 fixtures. But it's a clash that the Addicks have edged historically speaking, with 19 victories to the Reds' 17. There have also been 15 drawn affairs in a match that was first played back in November of 1929. 


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