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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Barnsley Vs Preston

The inside track on the Reds' clash with PNE

21 January 2020

The 2019/20 campaign rolls into another new week as Barnsley welcome Preston North End to Oakwell - this is the preview.

It is straight back down to Sky Bet Championship action for the Reds who made the long trip south to Bristol at the weekend and had to return empty-handed from Ashton Gate.

An 87th minute goal for the hosts left Reds Head Coach, Gerhard Struber frustrated having seen his players dominate proceedings against the high-flying Robins.

In a game that was littered with poor finishing from both sides, Barnsley were the ones left to rue their profligacy, and thus the Reds remain in the relegation zone heading into Tuesday night's meeting with North End.

Fortunately for the Reds, none of the other clubs involved in the fight to survive in the second tier gained anything of note on the day, but Stoke City pulled off a shock victory against promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening to move four points clear of Barnsley having played the same amount of games. 

With 18 games remaining, the Reds could really do with putting a run of victories together if they are to pull off a feat that looked absolutely impossible a few weeks ago. Struber will need his players fit and available over the next three months so recent injuries have come at a bad time for the club. 

Regular number one, Sami Radlinger might make his return having missed Bristol City through illness, but Bambo Diaby, Mike Bähre and Clarke Oduor are not expected to be included on Tuesday night. And whilst Cauley Woodrow has made a sooner-than-expected return to training, it's probably too soon for him although the Head Coach did suggest this week that he might be involved if he comes through training on Tuesday ahead of the match. 

You can get the pre-Preston thoughts of both Gerhard and midfielder Kenny Dougall by subscribing to iFollow Barnsley and clicking the linked videos below as both previewed another tough Championship clash under the Oakwell lights.

In terms of our visitors to Grove Street this Tuesday night, North End are not in their best form, having gone off the boil after what was a stunning first third of the campaign. 

They come into this game off a great win at the weekend when they edged out another struggling side in Charlton Athletic. They came from behind at Deepdale to get the three points and did so despite being without a number of key players, including former Reds loanee Ben Pearson and veteran talisman Paul Gallagher. 

Those two are expected to return to the first team reckoning in time for Tuesday evening, and the enigmatic Daniel Johnson has recently made his comeback from injury, the man who tore Barnsley to pieces back in October in the reverse fixture. 

Former Manchester United attacking midfielder Josh Harrop comes into the clash in great form. A scorer against the Reds at Deepdale, he has eight goals this season, with three in his last three appearances, playing just behind Sean Maguire, one of PNE's Irish international duo; Alan Browne has become a key player for North End, often playing out of position and he's been a regular on the international stage under Reds legend Mick McCarthy. 

Former Chelsea and Manchester City winger, Scott Sinclair is a recent addition to the Lilywhites' ranks having left Scottish giants Celtic. A man known for his silky skills, he's had success at Oakwell in the past - he scored a late penalty to earn Swansea City a point back in January of 2011. 

The man in charge of Preston is former Barnsley player Alex Neil. The Scot spent four years at Oakwell during the early 2000's and made well over a century of appearances during a tough era for the club. 

But it's as a manager that Neil has really made a name for himself. After 10 years of service for Hamilton Academical, he would go on to manage the club and lead them to promotion to the SPL in his first full season. Success continued in the top flight and in January of 2015 he was appointed Norwich City boss, becoming the second youngest manager (31-years-old) in the country, behind current Reds coach Adam Murray at Mansfield.

Interviews

Struber Pre-Preston

20 January 2020

He would lead the Canaries to 17 victories from the 25 games remaining and enjoy another promotion, as Norwich reached the Premier League after beating Middlesbrough 2-0 at Wembley in the playoff final. 

Neil was sacked by Norwich after relegation from the top flight was followed by a season where they struggled to push for promotion. He was appointed at Deepdale in July of 2017 and has a 39% win ratio so far as Lilywhites manager. 

The aforementioned reverse fixture in Preston back in October was the final match in charge for then-boss Daniel Stendel. Despite getting a goal right on half-time to go in level at Deepdale, the Reds were humbled badly by their hosts, going down 5-1 in a performance that hasn't been replicated since. 

But if Barnsley were terrible, Preston were fantastic. Both sides were in very different places back then and it's 11 years since the Reds lost to PNE on home soil. In fact, the last two Oakwell meetings were goalless draws (February and December 2017). 

The last Reds victory at Oakwell was in February of 2011 when Garry O'Connor and Danny Haynes goals saw Mark Robins' side run out 2-0 victors. 

Tuesday night will be the 58th meeting of the two clubs and North End edge the fixture very slightly, in historical terms. They hold 23 victories to Barnsley's 20, with 14 draws. 

This is a CAT C fixture, so fans paying on the day can get in for just £25 (adults) and kids for as little £7. 

Our visitors are expected to bring under a thousand supporters and with this being a quickly rearranged fixture and during midweek, everyone at Barnsley Football Club wishes those travelling over from Preston a safe journey and a warm welcome to Oakwell.

For those unable to attend the match in person, we have the game covered on iFollow Barnsley as ever, with our overseas subscribers having access to the live match stream and our UK subscribers the full match commentary with our own Matt Bailey on the mic, joined by ex-Red Wayne Goodison on co-commentary duty. 

For further information and more on our iFollow Barnsley service, please click on the linked image below for all of the relevant subscription packages.


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