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Match Previews

MIDDLESBROUGH PREVIEW

8 April 2021

The record-breaking Reds return to Oakwell this weekend for a Sky Bet Championship encounter with Boro.

Getting back to winning ways on Easter Monday helped Barnsley to maintain their push for a spot in end-of-season playoffs. 

The 2-1 victory over Luton Town at Kenilworth Road sealed a sixth straight away win, a club record, but it was a game the Reds dominated and should have won more simply, but for some late, self-inflicted drama.

Daryl Dike's second successive brace on the road was enough for all three points in the end, and now Barnsley must try and improve their home form which has deserted them of late. 

Not since March 6 have we picked up maximum points at Oakwell. That was a 1-0 triumph over Birmingham City, where Dike's exocet missile proved the difference.

Since then, the Reds have been held twice by Derby County and Reading in evening clashes and defeated by lowly Sheffield Wednesday in a South Yorkshire derby in between.

That remains Barnsley's only loss in the last 15 games, and came on a day where nothing went right for Valérien Ismaël's side and all that could go wrong, did. 

The Reds will have the opportunity to arrest that home form on Saturday against a visiting Boro outfit who've lost on all three of their most recent league visits to Oakwell.

Currently 10th in the Sky Bet Championship standings, having been in the playoffs as recently as Christmas, the Teessiders, led by the wily veteran Neil Warnock will be no pushovers this weekend.

With a pair of former Reds loanees in their ranks, in the shape of Ashley Fletcher and Sam Morsy, amongst a squad littered with quality performers, Middlesbrough are a match for anyone on their day. 

But they're winless in their last three fixtures, making any late run for a top-six place looking a very outside prospect. 

Ex-Reds winger Warnock, into his 40th year in management has certainly steered the North East side into calmer waters, having initially taken the role late last season, helping them to safety alongside the Reds. 

In the reverse meeting up at the Riverside, it was the hosts who ran out 2-1 winners in what would prove to be the final match in charge of Barnsley for the New York-bound Gerhard Struber. 

When meeting in this fixture last season, in what was one of our final games at a fan-attended Oakwell prior to the impact of COVID-19, a Conor Chaplin strike saw the Reds to a precious 1-0 victory.

The Reds are still fifth in the table going into this one, three points above Bournemouth (7th) and two ahead of Reading (6th). But they're now just a point behind Swansea (4th) and trail Brentford (3rd) by two.

Club News

WATCH REDS VS BORO

7 April 2021

There will be live coverage of Saturday's clash on iFollow Barnsley, with Matt Bailey joined by Wayne Goodison and Callum Cooper - grab your Match Pass today!


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