"In triumph from the North
… all red"
Off to South Yorkshire for what is arguably our toughest fixture of this strange season so far, at Oakwell, home of The Tykes since 1888. We are level on points with Barnsley, but their goal difference is far superior having scored 14 and only conceded 3 in their 6 games. The man to watch out for is undoubtedly Kieffer Moore, who added to his impressive goal tally last weekend by scoring twice as Gillingham were dispatched 2-1. His striking abilities are now highlighted as Barnsley no longer have the services of Tom Bradshaw since his loan move to Millwall. For our older members of course, there is another connection with Barnsley in the form of Allan “Sniffer” Clarke, who was their manager on 2 occasions back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Tykes fans are somewhat concerned that international call-ups are going to deprive them of 2 influential players - Adam Davies (Welsh goalkeeper) and Kenny Dougall (Australian midfielder) - their absence could well benefit the Saddlers’ cause. Barnsley’s impressive League One form:-
Aug 4th Oxford United (H) Won 4-0
Aug 11th Bradford City (A) Won 0-2
Aug 18th AFC Wimbledon (H) Drew 0-0
Aug 21st Rochdale (A) Won 0-4
Aug 25th Scunthorpe United (A) Drew 2-2
Sep 1st Gillingham (H) Won 2-1
(nb - in that most recent game against Gillingham, Barnsley had 25 shots, 7 on target, 9 corners)
Since our win at Burton-on-Trent Dean Keates will be much more aware of his options for team selection, having seen the performances of Connor Johnson and Connor Ronan, not to mention Dylan Parker.The previously favoured striking partnership of Andy Cook and Morgan Ferrier will have benefitted from a week’s rest and should be raring to go.
Predicting this one is trickier than usual - there is no doubting Barnsley’s strength and prowess which have contributed to their League One position, but how much will they be affected by the loss of 2 of their senior players? On the basis that winning at home and drawing away will make for a very successful season, I will be happy with a draw at Oakwell … say 1-1 with Ferrier on target.