Barnsley U23s host Birmingham City on Tuesday afternoon looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Professional Development League to seven games.
Martin Devaney’s side will leapfrog Sheffield United into third if they avoid defeat, providing the Blades lose against Wigan Athletic on Wednesday.
It has been a flying start for the young Reds, who crushed Charlton Athletic 5-0 in their last outing a fortnight ago. Although our squad on that day had a handful of senior players getting valuable minutes for match fitness, Devaney was still keen to emphasise the quality of our youth prospects, who are performing magnificently this term.
One player catching the eye, in particular, is Dan Bramall. The speedy wide man has six goals so far this season and will be hopeful of adding to his tally when City visit the Oakwell Training Ground.
Former Birmingham youngster, Steve Simpson, will also be looking to add his name to the score sheet, having spent time with the Blues’ academy after arriving in England from Canada as a 14-year-old.
City appear to be the division’s great entertainers this campaign having twice been involved in nine-goal thrillers. However, Steve Spooner’s side were edged out 5-4 on both occasions by Crewe Alexandra and Ipswich Town.
In Josh Andrews, Birmingham have a striker in blistering form. The 19-year-old has seven goals to his name already and has previous against the Reds, scoring the equaliser in last season’s FA Youth Cup fourth round tie that the nine-man Blues went onto win. Incidentally, Andrews was one of the players dismissed following an off the ball altercation with Jordan Helliwell.
Barnsley ran out 5-2 winners the last time City visited South Yorkshire, and Devaney will be confident of a similar result this time around as his side look to continue their fine start to the campaign.
In line with government guidance, this fixture will be played behind closed doors. However, you can follow updates on our official Academy Twitter account, starting with team news from 12pm.