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Match Previews


5 March 2021

Match Previews


5 March 2021

Back-to-back home fixtures next up for the Reds, starting with Saturday's visit of Blues in the Sky Bet Championship.

No rest for Valérien Ismaël and his staff and players as Barnsley head straight into a home clash with struggling Birmingham City on Saturday 6 March in a 3pm kick-off. 

Despite the magnitude of the midweek achievement that was a record-breaking sixth straight victory in a season at this level, away at Queens Park Rangers, there is no time for reverence as the Reds welcome a Blues outfit looking to climb away from the bottom three. 

But Wednesday night's terrific 3-1 win at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium maintained Barnsley's red-hot form and whilst everyone concerned immediately began to shift their focus to Saturday, it would be remiss of us not to reflect on such an historical attainment. 

When the Reds were harshly beaten 1-0 at Oakwell in the fifth round of this season's Emirates FA Cup at the beginning of February, they were lauded by all and sundry for their eye-catching performance against a Premier League giant in Chelsea.

It was a display befitting a top flight outfit and ever since that night on Grove Street, the Reds have played like one, seeing off half-a-dozen challengers in their inimitable manner to propel themselves up the league table and into playoff contention. 

They blasted through February; five wins with three clean sheets registered a perfect month for Ismaël's rampaging Reds and last time out at QPR they kicked off March in similar vein, proving too much for one of the division's in-form sides since the turn of the year who had just accrued three successive victories on home turf. 

It's the sort of run, the kind of form that gets people talking and the Reds now sit just a place and a point behind Bournemouth who presently hold the final playoff position, with a game in-hand over the Cherries, who Barnsley will visit next weekend in what is shaping up to be a pivotal fixture in this most unusual 20/21 season. 

But before then, the Reds take on Blues this weekend looking to extend this record-breaking sequence and to pick up a seventh consecutive league win, solidifying their claims for a tilt at the top six. 

Led by former Real Madrid defender and ex-Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka, the men from the second city have been in wretched form across this hectic campaign, but boosted somewhat by recent displays as they look to move out of trouble at the bottom end of the division.

They come into this clash, arguably in the best form they've managed all season, with seven points from their last four outings, including victories over QPR and Sheffield Wednesday, although they were fortunate to escape from Huddersfield Town with a point in the week, with former Reds hero Marc Roberts on target with his third goal of a productive campaign. 

Blues are in 21st position right now, just above the drop-zone, three points better off than Rotherham United directly below them but the Millers do have two games in-hand on Karanka's side. After the midweek results it does look like both Wednesday in 23rd and Wycombe Wanderers at the bottom are going to have to pull off miraculous runs to escape the drop. 

Saturday's guests have previous in these dogfights, having staved off the threat of relegation on more than one occasion in recent seasons, and a shock win at Oakwell will ease any tension at St. Andrew's, that's for sure. 

In the reverse fixture back at the start of December last year, Barnsley came back from a goal behind to win 2-1 with a very late Callum Styles strike helping the Reds to a victoy that is often pinpointed as being key in the team's fortunes ever since. 

However, Blues have won on three of their last five visits to Oakwell, including a smash-and-grab 1-0 success here last season when Scott Hogan pounced on a defensive blunder. 

Club News


5 March 2021

We will have live coverage of the big game on Saturday via iFollow Barnsley with Matt Bailey joined on the mic by ex-Red Wayne Goodison giving his expert analysis and pitchside reporter Callum Cooper.

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