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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Barnsley Vs Millwall

The inside track on the Reds against the Lions...

24 June 2020

The Reds return to Oakwell after 112 days, but without supporters, as the battle for survival hots up with the Lions in town - here's the preview!

Football will be played at Oakwell on Saturday for the first time in over three months as Gerhard Struber's in-form Reds welcome Gary Rowett's playoff-chasing Lions in a 1pm kick-off in the Sky Bet Championship. 

The return to play couldn't have gone much better for Barnsley last weekend; Elliot Simoes' early goal at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium saw the Reds to a first win at QPR since 1950, completing a league double this season and giving Struber's men a most vital of three points. 

It was a terrific start post-lockdown for a Barnsley outfit written off by all and sundry. 

But whilst the gap to safety was reduced to four points, there's a lot more work ahead in the next four weeks. And with games about to land thick and fast, it wouldn't be wrong to suggest that fitness and physical wellbeing are going to be as important as talent and quality moving forward through this next phase. 

Apologies, this video is unvailable.
Apologies, this video is unvailable.

That effort was there in spades in the nation's capital last Saturday. The Reds flew out of the blocks and had Rangers penned in for much of the opening half-hour. But as Struber himself pointed out post-match, it was pleasing to see his side manage the game in the second half.

All too often this season, Barnsley have been the architects of their own downfall, squandering points through a lack of concentration and/or poor decision-making. At Loftus Road it was by and large a solid and focused effort. The few chances that the hosts did create were wasted, and if there was any negative to take from the game, it was the Reds' own profligacy in front of goal that stopped the result being much more comfortable.

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This weekend we welcome an old foe, a club that Barnsley seem to have played a heck of a lot in recent years. 

Led by Rowett - the former Derby County manager - who replaced Lions legend Neil Harris in October of last year, Millwall are still hunting a spot in the end-of-season playoffs.

Their own return to action at the weekend didn't go as smoothly as ours did, beaten on home soil by Rowett's former club, the Rams. A 3-2 defeat despite going ahead early doors through big centre forward Matt Smith. 

Following the clash at The Den, the Lions' manager referred to poor defending and his side struggling to adjust to life without the backing of their fervent home support. But they remain just three points outside the top six, and Rowett believes his squad will have used that first match as a learning exercise heading into our fixture at Oakwell. 

Historically speaking, this is a fixture in which the Reds have their share of good memories, none more so than the 2016 Sky Bet League One playoff final victory. Goals from Ashley Fletcher, Adam Hammill and Lloyd Isgrove saw us promoted at Wembley that afternoon.

But in league terms, the Reds have won at The Den on their last two visits, when a Mamadou Thiam penalty and a Tom Bradshaw brace saw us to a 3-1 victory in 2017, before this season leaving London with all three points thanks to Patrick Schmidt's last-gasp header. 

There was a 3-2 victory in 2015 when Lewin Nyatanga headed home a last minute winner in a 3-2 success. And in 2012, Marcus Tudgay struck at the death in a 2-1 victory.

At Oakwell, the Lions took all three points on their last visit. It was an absolutely freezing afternoon in South Yorkshire back in March of 2018, when Lee Gregory and Ben Marshall struck to give Millwall a 2-0 win and help push the Reds closer to an eventual relegation.

In total, there have been 60 meetings of the two clubs with Barnsley earning 25 wins to the Lions' 23.

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As we prepare for our first home game behind-closed-doors, we remind supporters with Reds Membership packages that you will be able to watch the game LIVE via iFollow Barnsley. 

With Matt Bailey joined by Bobby Hassell on the mic, enjoy four-camera footage, replays and hopefully another big win in our fight for Championship survival. 

For more on HOW to access the streams, see our guidance article HERE

For non-season ticket holders, the match is still available to watch in full, live via iFollow Barnsley for a one-off price of £10. Follow THIS link for more information.

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