Struggling Barnsley will host in-form West Bromwich Albion side in the Sky Bet Championship this Friday. The two sides have played out draws in their last two meetings back in 2019.
The two teams have entirely different ambitions for their respective seasons. But this game will be equally important for both the teams. Barnsley fighting for their survival in the 2nd tier while West Brom aiming to get promoted to the Premier League.
Barnsley has struggled to find form since the beginning of the season. They have managed to win only two games up till now. Their last win came six games ago, against bottom-of-the-table Derby County.
The Tykes sit 23 on the table with 13 points. They are on the verge of relegation. Barnsley would have been at the bottom of the table if it wasn’t for Derby’s 19 point deduction.
The Oakwell Stadium outfit is 8 points off safety. They still have a slim chance of making it out of the relegation zone by the end of the season. But they will need to start grinding out some crucial results.
Barnsley Sky Bet Championship form: L L D D L
West Bromwich Albion on the other hand sits 2nd on the table with 40 points. Only 3 behind the automatic promotion spot. They will be quite optimistic about this game as they travel to Oakwell Stadium on the back of two wins against Coventry and Reading.
Albion will look to challenge for the 2nd spot and have the depth in their squad to do so. Winning this game is important for them to keep pressure on Bournemouth who has started to slip up.
This will also be a special game for the West Brom manager, Valérien Ismaël, who heads back to face his former club. Ismaël left Barnsley last summer to join the Baggies. This will be his first time facing his former club.
West Bromwich Albion Sky Bet Championship form: L D D W W
Barnsley vs West Bromwich Albion: Team news
The Tykes manager was satisfied with the performance they put up against Preston despite their loss. Which could mean he fields the same line-up against West Brom.
Josh Benson, Aaron Leya Iseka, and Victor Adeboyejo will probably be available for selection for the first team.
Possible Barnsley starting line-up
Collins; Helik, Andersen, Kitching; Brittain, Palmer, Gomes, Styles; Odour, Woodrow, Morris.
West Bromwich Albion
Their defenders Cedric Kipre, Semi Ajayi, Matt Clarke, and Conor Townsend will all be out as they have tested Covid positive last week. They will have to adapt to a make-shift defense line for their trip to Oakwell Stadium.
Possible West Brom starting line-up
Johnstone; Livermore, Bartley, Reach; Furlong, Molumby, Mowatt, Gardner-Hickman; Robinson, Hugill, Grant.
Barnsley 1-2 West Bromwich Albion
West Brom has not beaten Barnsley in their last five meetings in the league. And they also have first-team issues due to Covid. But despite all of this, we think West Brom will finally break their jinx at the Oakwell Stadium.
Barnsley has only managed two wins this season. And have been unable to find any consistency. This game will be closer than what the league table suggests. But West Brom will nick the name by a small margin. The Tykes could manage to cause an upset and get a draw out of this game.
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