The managerless pair have just 17 points and three wins between them this season and relegation beckons for both if they fail to turn their fortunes around.
Barnsley have not won since their shock 1-0 victory over Fulham on the opening day of the Championship season at the start of August.
The newly-promoted side were dumped out of the EFL Cup at the first hurdle by League Two strugglers Carlisle United in their third competitive game of the season by an embarrassing 3-0 scoreline and avoided defeat in just two of the seven league games that followed.
There have been some signs of improvement since the start of October, with four draws and two defeats from their last six league games, but a second victory continues to elude them.
Barnsley will be desperate to rectify that against the only side in the division with a lower points total than themselves - Stoke.
The Potters were forced to wait until early October for their first Championship win of the season - a 2-1 win over promotion-chasing Swansea City.
Their second win of the campaign followed immediately against Fulham, coincidentally, but three consecutive defeats have proved that this upturn in form was merely a false dawn.
Aside from these two wins, Stoke have only avoided defeat on two other occasions, losing a whopping 11 of their 15 Championship matches so far this term.
Stoke are unlikely to get a better opportunity to claim three points than this, and it could be a significant game in both teams' fight for survival.
Barnsley form: DLDDLD
Stoke City form: LWWLLL
Centre-back and Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross is a long-term absentee for the Potters with a fractured foot sustained in pre-season.
However, it is the identity of the men in the dugout, rather than on the field, that most will be eager to learn ahead of this one.
Barnsley have appointed Adam Murray to act as caretaker while the club search for a permanent manager after Daniel Stendel was sacked, and he has already overseen the last four matches - with signs of improvement from the side.
Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Collins; Diaby, Halme, Sibbick; Dougall; Cavare, Brown, Chaplin, Mowatt; Wilks, Woodrow
Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Butland; Smith, Carter-Vickers, Batth, Lindsay, Ward; Ndiaye, Allen, Clucas; Campbell, Vokes
We say: Barnsley 1-0 Stoke City
Barnsley have earned draws against high fliers Bristol City, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City in three of their last four games and have shown a fighting spirit, which - coupled with home advantage - could be just enough to spur them on to a vital, narrow victory against their relegation rivals Stoke, who have lost three in a row.
body check tags ::