Preview: Barnsley vs. Sheffield Wednesday

There is a mouthwatering fixture in League One on Tuesday evening, as division leaders Sheffield Wednesday make the trip to Oakwell to take on fourth-placed Barnsley.

Wednesday will enter the contest off the back of a 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers on Friday, while Barnsley recorded a 1-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

Match preview

Barnsley manager Michael Duff before the match on January 8, 2023

Barnsley were relegated from the Championship in 24th position last season, so they are bidding to bounce back into the second tier at the first time of asking, and the team are in the promotion mix at this stage.

Indeed, a record of 21 wins, six draws and eight defeats from 35 matches has seen them collect 69 points, which is enough for fourth position in the table, eight points behind second-placed Plymouth Argyle.

Barnsley actually have two games in hand on second-placed Plymouth and third-placed Ipswich Town, while they have two matches spare on Derby County just below them and three in hand on sixth-placed Bolton.

The Tykes are actually unbeaten in League One since the middle of January, winning nine of their last 11 in the league during a brilliant run of form.

Michael Duff’s side are showing strong form at a vital stage of the season, and they will enter this match off the back of a 1-0 victory at Wycombe, with Slobodan Tedic netting the only goal of the contest in the 85th minute after being introduced just before the hour.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore before the match on February 7, 2023

Wednesday, meanwhile, were held to a 1-1 draw by Bolton on Friday night; Lee Gregory sent the Owls ahead in the 11th minute of the contest, but Victor Adeboyejo levelled the scores late in the first period.

Darren Moore’s side remain top of the table on 78 points, one point clear of second-placed Plymouth, who have played two games more than the team at the summit.

Wednesday are three points ahead of Ipswich in third, with two games in hand, so they are in a strong position at this stage of the campaign, with the club bidding to return to the second tier of English football.

The Owls finished fourth in League One last season, which saw them qualify for the playoffs, but they were beaten by Sunderland in the semi-finals.

Wednesday suffered a 2-0 defeat to Barnsley in the reverse game earlier this term, but they recorded a 2-1 victory in the corresponding fixture between the two teams during the 2020-21 campaign.

Team News

Sheffield Wednesday's Josh Windass celebrates scoring their first goal with Michael Smith on January 7, 2023

Barnsley boss Duff will have Tedic in this thinking when it comes to a starting role for this match, with the Serbian coming off the bench to register against Wycombe at the weekend.

Devante Cole is another pushing to be involved in the XI, with the 27-year-old finding the back of the net on 10 occasions in the league during the 2022-23 campaign.

Max Watters could be the player to drop out to allow Cole to feature from the start, while James Norwood should continue in the final third of the field.

As for Wednesday, Marvin Johnson could come into the side, having featured as a half-time substitute against Bolton on Friday night.

There are unlikely to be any further changes for the visitors, though, with Gregory again featuring in the final third of the field alongside Josh Windass.

Barry Bannan will again play in central midfield for the division leaders, with Will Vaulks and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru also expected to retain their starting roles.

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Isted; Thomas, Andersen, Kitching; Williams, Phillips, Connell, Kane, Cadden; Cole, Norwood

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Dawson; Palmer, Flint, Famewo; Hunt, Dele-Bashiru, Vaulks, Bannan, Johnson; Windass, Gregory

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