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

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

Valerien Ismael will be hoping to make it two wins from two as Barnsley manager when his side host Watford in the Championship on Saturday.

The Frenchman got off to the perfect start in the Oakwell dugout on Tuesday night, as the Tykes thrashed Queens Park Rangers 3-0.


Match preview

Barnsley's Conor Chaplin celebrates with teammates after scoring against QPR in the Championship on October 27, 2020© Reuters

A penalty from Cauley Woodrow, a low strike from Conor Chaplin and Yoann Barbet's own goal gave Barnsley a comfortable victory over the West London side.

It was their biggest winning margin at home in the Championship since they beat Sunderland by the same scoreline in August 2017.

More significantly in the context of the current campaign, it was their first league win and means they now sit 18th, two points above the relegation zone, heading into Saturday's match.

There is certainly plenty for Tykes fans to feel optimistic about, but Rob Dickie's first-half red card when the game was still goalless provides a slight caveat to the compromising win.

Watford's visit to South Yorkshire should give a better understanding of where this Barnsley team, who looked to have a lot of potential under Gerhard Struber, are really at.

Watford's Ismaila Sarr celebrates with teammates after scoring against Wycombe Wanderers in the Championship on October 27, 2020© Reuters

The Hornets drew 1-1 away to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night, handing the Chairboys their first point of the season in the process.

Ismaila Sarr scored for the first time in the Championship to give the visitors the lead at Adams Park – his first Watford goal since the brace that defeated Liverpool in February - but Anthony Stewart equalised just over ten minutes later.

It was a reminder that an immediate return to the Premier League is not going to be easy, and Vladimir Ivic admitted that his team were fortunate not to lose the game.

Meanwhile, Ben Foster has suggested that the team's performances back in the second tier have been merely "average" so far.

Nonetheless, they are still fifth and just a point off the automatic promotion places and have only lost once – to runaway leaders Reading. Away from home though, they have won just one of four games.

This will be the first meeting between Barnsley and Watford since the 2013-14 season, when the Hornets won both fixtures – including a 5-1 thrashing at Saturday's venue Oakwell.

Barnsley Championship form: DLDDDW

Watford Championship form: WLWWDD


Team News

Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael pictured in October 2020© Reuters

After such a convincing win against QPR, Valerien Ismael could name the same starting XI again on Saturday.

Jordan Williams is likely to still be unavailable, while Ben Williams is out for an extended period with a serious knee injury.

Will Hughes and Andre Gray are available for Watford after respective injuries, but both are still lacking match fitness having not played this season.

Vladimir Ivic is expected to make changes following the lacklustre showing against Wycombe, with James Garner and Ben Wilmot in line for recalls.

Christian Kabasele took a knock to the face in midweek and Ivic has hinted that he could be rested at the weekend.

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

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Cathcart, Troost-Ekong, Wilmot; Femenia, Capoue, Quina, Garner, Sema; Sarr, Pedro


SM words green background

We say: Barnsley 1-2 Watford

Vladimir Ivic will be looking for a reaction from his side after the draw against Wycombe, and Watford do have the players to really hurt Barnsley. The Tykes though have the famous 'new manager bounce' on their side and will be a tough nut to crack.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away 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.Away Win:data

ID:420259:cQx

Who will win the Championship clash between Barnsley and Watford?

Barnsley
Draw
Watford
Barnsley
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Watford
0.0%
0
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Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael pictured in October 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich148421811728
2Bournemouth1476123131027
3Swansea CitySwansea14752168826
4Reading148242318526
5Bristol City147341714324
6Brentford146532013723
7Watford136521811723
8Stoke CityStoke146442118322
9Blackburn RoversBlackburn1463527161121
10Middlesbrough13562148621
11Millwall144821210220
12Luton TownLuton145451117-619
13Huddersfield TownHuddersfield145361819-118
14Cardiff CityCardiff144551713417
15Queens Park RangersQPR144551620-417
16Barnsley144461516-116
17Birmingham CityBirmingham143741012-216
18Preston North EndPreston145181721-416
19Rotherham UnitedRotherham143471418-413
20Coventry CityCoventry143471424-1013
21Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest14338917-812
22Wycombe WanderersWycombe14248720-1310
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds14356712-58
24Derby CountyDerby14149621-157

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