Apr 5, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Oakwell
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion

Lawrence (40'), Etuhu (74')
Etuhu (76')

Ward (21'), Rodriguez (30'), Ulloa (42')

Preview: Barnsley vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Championship meeting between relegation-threatened Barnsley and playoff hopefuls Brighton & Hove Albion.

Hopes of an unlikely escape from the relegation mire are growing in South Yorkshire as Barnsley's revival continued last week with a priceless victory over fellow strugglers Yeovil Town.

That made it back-to-back wins for the Tykes, who will look to make it three victories in a row for the first time in more than a year when they host Brighton & Hove Albion at Oakwell on Saturday.

Seven goals scored and just two conceded in their last two games represents a huge improvement for Danny Wilson's side, who have moved up to 22nd in the table, just three points from safety.

They have the relative luxury of a game in hand over the two teams below them, although they have still played one game more than 21st-placed Charlton Athletic. Instead, Barnsley's eyes may be set on Birmingham City, who are just five points clear of the bottom three and have played a game more.

Their goal difference is still the second worst in the division, but they are taking steps in the right direction to rectify what could be an important factor in the relegation battle.

Both of their recent victories have come away from home, but the good news is that they have fared even better at Oakwell this season, amassing 22 of their 35 points in front of their own fans. However, their last two outings at home have resulted in defeats, with Barnsley failing to score on both occasions.

Wilson is likely to keep as close to an unchanged side as possible from the win over Yeovil, but he may be forced to leave Marcus Pedersen out due to injury, with Reuben Noble-Lazarus his most likely replacement.

At the other end of the spectrum, Brighton find their hopes of playoff football fading quickly after a run of four matches without a win, picking up just one point from a possible 12 in that time.

Their poor form has not been as damaging as it could have been, however, with their fellow playoff contenders also regularly dropping points as no team seems to be able to make sixth place their own.

As a result, the Seagulls are just three points off the top six, with a final-day fixture against Nottingham Forest looming large as a potential six-pointer.

Oscar Garcia's side have only been beaten once in their last four away outings, coming from behind to clinch a dramatic 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers in their last match on the road.

Craig Mackail-Smith is nearing a return after more than a year out and could feature before the end of the season, but Andrew Crofts is still sidelined.

Recent form

Barnsley: WLLLWW

Brighton: WWLLLD

Possible starting lineups

Barnsley: Steele; Etuhu, Mvoto, Nyatanga, Kennedy; Jennings, Cywka, Lawrence, Dawson; Noble-Lazarus, O'Grady

Brighton: Kuszczak; Bruno, Upson, Greer, Ward; Forster-Caskey, Andrews, Ince; Stephens, Ulloa, Lingard

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Oscar Garcia of Brighton looks on during the FA Cup fifth round match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Hull City at Amex Stadium on February 17, 2014
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