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Preview: Barnsley vs. Huddersfield Town - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Barnsley and Huddersfield Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides neck-and-neck in the Championship table will lock horns on Boxing Day as Barnsley welcome Huddersfield Town to Oakwell Stadium.

Valerien Ismael's men suffered a 2-0 defeat to Swansea City last weekend which brought their winning streak to an end, whereas Huddersfield managed to beat Watford by the same scoreline.


Match preview

Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Ismael has certainly brought an air of positivity to Oakwell Stadium since taking the reins, but Saturday's defeat to Swansea proved that the Tykes are not ready to mix with the promotion-chasing pack just yet.

Jamal Lowe broke the deadlock within the opening two minutes before substitute Victor Adeboyejo turned into his own net in the 66th minute, with Barnsley's three-game winning run coming to an abrupt end at the Liberty Stadium.

Ismael's side had taken nine points from nine in fixtures with Wycombe Wanderers, Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday before losing to Swansea, and Barnsley have successfully steered themselves away from danger over the past couple of months, with the Tykes now only five points adrift of the playoff places in 13th.

Barnsley could potentially rise as high as ninth with a win if other results go their way on Boxing Day, and Ismael's side have only suffered two defeats in their last nine on familiar territory, with both losses coming to title-chasing sides in Brentford and Bournemouth.

Huddersfield Town manager Carlos Corberan pictured in December 2020.© Reuters

Meanwhile, Huddersfield's clash with a fellow Premier League-chasing team went as well as the Terriers faithful could have hoped, with Carlos Corberan's men enjoying a 2-0 win over Watford on home soil.

Fraizer Campbell opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season before Etienne Capoue turned into his own net before the half-time whistle blew, and there were no more goals to be had at the John Smith's Stadium as Huddersfield recorded their fourth home win in a row.

While the Terriers have produced the goods at home, Huddersfield are on a five-game winless streak away from home and have not prevailed on unfamiliar territory since beating Millwall on Halloween, with six of the Terriers' eight league wins this season coming at the John Smith's Stadium.

Barnsley managed to triumph in this fixture 2-1 last season, but Huddersfield won on their own turf by the same scoreline back in October.

Barnsley Championship form: WLWWWL

Huddersfield Town Championship form: LWWLDW


Team News

Barnsley's Callum Styles scores against Wycombe Wanderers in the Championship on December 9, 2020© Reuters

Barnsley centre-back Aapo Halme is out for at least another few weeks with a broken toe, and his fellow defender Ben Williams is also sidelined for possibly the rest of the season.

However, Jordan Williams has an outside chance of recovering from a hamstring problem in time to feature, while Callum Styles is back from suspension.

Styles's return could see Clarke Oduor demoted to the bench, while Luke Thomas is pushing for a start on the right flank over Dominik Frieser.

Huddersfield boss Corberan has revealed that goalkeeper Ben Hamer is nearing a return to action, but the 33-year-old will not make the cut on Saturday.

Having recently lost six-goal striker Josh Koroma to a serious hamstring injury, Corberan will be hoping to see Campbell find the net on a consistent basis over the coming months, especially with Danny Ward also sidelined until the New Year.

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Walton; Sollbauer, Andersen, Helik; Brittain, Mowatt, James, Styles; Frieser, Woodrow, Chaplin

Huddersfield Town possible starting lineup:
Schofield; Pipa, Edmonds-Green, Sarr, Toffolo; Eiting, Hogg, O'Brien; Mbenza, Campbell, Bacuna


SM words green background

We say: Barnsley 1-1 Huddersfield Town

The loss of Koroma is sure to affect Huddersfield's goalscoring touch over the next couple of months, but having comfortably beaten a promotion-chasing Watford side, Corberan's men will feel confident going into this one. Ismael's Barnsley will be determined to bounce back from their loss at Swansea, and with Huddersfield struggling for wins on their travels, we are expecting a closely-fought draw in this one.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data


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Swansea City manager Steve Cooper pictured on November 3, 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bournemouth9630167921
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9540168819
3Coventry CityCoventry9612126619
4Fulham95221981117
5Stoke CityStoke95221310317
6Blackburn RoversBlackburn9441169716
7Huddersfield TownHuddersfield94141312113
8Bristol City93421110113
9Reading94141618-213
10Queens Park RangersQPR93331714312
11Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd93331312112
12Birmingham CityBirmingham93331010012
13Cardiff CityCardiff93241214-211
14Blackpool9324812-411
15Preston North EndPreston9243911-210
16Luton TownLuton92431316-310
17Swansea CitySwansea9243811-310
18Middlesbrough9234911-29
19Millwall9162911-29
20Barnsley9153610-48
21Peterborough UnitedPeterborough92161020-107
22Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest9126813-55
23Hull City9126514-95
24Derby CountyDerby924368-2-2

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