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Preview: Barnsley vs. Millwall - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Barnsley play host to Millwall on Saturday afternoon looking to record their fifth successive win in the Championship, a result which could take the Tykes into the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the visitors make the trip to Oakwell on the back of nine matches without defeat, keeping the Lions in the race for the top six.


Match preview

Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Having started the season as candidates to avoid relegation, many people had been expecting Barnsley to settle for a spot in mid-table during the second half of the campaign.

However, Valerien Ismael's side are now regarded as one of the best teams in the division, the Frenchman having recently guided the Tykes to four victories in a row.

The latest success, a 2-0 win at home to Stoke City, has helped put some distance ahead of 11th position, but complete focus will be on trying to end an increasing improving campaign with the most unlikely of promotions.

While goals have not been Barnsley's strong point, seven strikes in five matches have still led to 13 points, highlighting the defensive rearguard at the other end.

Ismael talked up Daryl Dike after his first goal for the club in midweek, the American joining Carlton Morris in making big impacts at Barnsley since their arrivals last month.

Barnsley's Michal Helik in action with Stoke City's Nick Powell in the Championship on February 24, 2021© Reuters

Much of the attention ahead of this match will be on Barnsley, but the recent progress of Millwall is something which should not be ignored.

Having previously been on the brink of the sack, Gary Rowett has helped the Lions put together a nine-match unbeaten record since January 20.

Still sitting six points adrift of the playoffs, Millwall are no more than outsiders in the race for promotion, a consequence of only achieving draws against Wycombe Wanderers and Luton Town.

Nevertheless, Rowett will be proud of the club's recent resurgence, arguably proving that he remains the right man at the helm in the long term.

Seven of Millwall's last eight goals in the Championship have been scored in the final quarter, including their last-gasp equaliser at Kenilworth Road.

Barnsley Championship form: DDWWWW
Barnsley form (all competitions): DLWWWW

Millwall Championship form: DWWWDD


Team News

Millwall manager Gary Rowett pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Matt Smith and Tom Bradshaw may be drafted back into the Millwall XI after their substitute outings versus Luton.

While Jake Cooper does not require surgery on a shoulder injury, the centre-back will remain out of the side for this game.

Ismael regularly makes changes to his starting lineup and Michael Sollbauer could again return in place of Toby Sibbick.

Conor Chaplin and Dike are alternatives to Dominik Frieser and Cauley Woodrow if Ismael freshens up Barnsley's attack.

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Collins; Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Palmer, Mowatt, Styles; Chaplin, Dike, Morris

Millwall possible starting lineup:
Bialkowski; Hutchinson, Pearce, Evans; Romeo, Woods, Thompson, Malone; Wallace, Smith, Bennett


SM words green background

We say: Barnsley 2-1 Millwall

With both teams putting together their best form of the season, we expect a fiercely-competitive encounter in Yorkshire. However, sensing an opportunity to break into the playoffs, the home side could show the extra ambition required to collect all three points.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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 Win:data


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Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael pictured on February 11, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
2Watford422410859283182
3Swansea CitySwansea4222101052331976
4Brentford412014771403174
5Bournemouth4221111069412874
6Barnsley42218135446871
7Reading4219101357461167
8Cardiff CityCardiff4216121458461260
9Millwall421417114140159
10Queens Park RangersQPR421611155051-159
11Middlesbrough42169174947257
12Stoke CityStoke421414144546-156
13Luton TownLuton41168173646-1056
14Bristol City42156214156-1551
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn421311185448650
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest421213173441-749
17Preston North EndPreston42147214155-1449
18Coventry CityCoventry421212183956-1748
19Birmingham CityBirmingham421212183250-1848
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield421211194562-1747
21Derby CountyDerby421110213148-1743
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham40116234154-1339
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds42119223555-2036
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe42810243266-3434

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