After falling to a second successive defeat with a 1-0 home defeat against local rivals Preston North End last time out, Rovers will be looking to get back to winning ways this evening against Barnsley.
Tony Mowbray’s men had a positive January, but two defeats in February have seen the calls for Tony Mowbray’s head grow, and so a win is necessary to relieve some of the supporter pressure.
Barnsley, meanwhile, made it three league matches without defeat on Sunday with an impressive 2-0 victory away to high-flying Brentford.
We Meet Again…
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The two sides last met back in November, with Rovers running out as 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Adam Armstrong and Sam Gallagher, with Tony Mowbray’s side holding on despite Romal Palmer’s injury-time strike causing a nervy ending.
The last trip to Oakwell was a disappointing one as the hosts won 2-0 after ‘Project Restart’, causing a huge dent in Rovers’ play-off hopes.
It’s three visits to Barnsley without win, with Rovers’ last victory at Oakwell coming in December 2012 just two days after Henning Berg was sacked – with strikes from Josh King, Ruben Rochina and Jordan Rhodes securing the three points.
The Ones To Watch
Although he only has three goals to his name this season, Connor Chaplin is one player who Rovers fans know too well. In five matches against the club, Chaplin has scored three times – including the last meeting between the two sides at Oakwell.
Cauley Woodrow is the Tykes’ top scorer in the league with nine goals this season, and although his expected goals (xG) is 2.52 more than his actual goals, he is a strong finisher and is set to hit double figures for the third season running – although only Rovers’ Adam Armstrong has had more shots per game (5) than Woodrow (3.3).
At the back, Mads Andersen has been a regular starter in the Barnsley side since his arrival from AC Horsens in the summer of 2019, and has impressed this season. He has won the third-most aerial battles (174) in the division this season, and no player has made more interceptions (77).
I’m expecting a couple of changes from the side that fell to defeat against Preston last week.
Harvey Elliott should come back into the side after being rested, whilst Taylor Harwood-Bellis might be in line for his debut after Jarrad Branthwaite struggled in the Preston defeat.
Predicted XI: Kaminski, Nyambe, Lenihan, Harwood-Bellis, Douglas, Travis, Davenport, Elliott, Gallagher, Armstrong, Brereton
I’m concerned about this fixture. Barnsley are a strong side who have played well under Ismail, even when results haven’t been going their way.
Rovers need a result sooner rather than later to relieve the pressure on Tony Mowbray, but I don’t see more than a draw here.
Prediction: Barnsley 2-2 Rovers
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