MX23RW : Sunday, February 28 08:21:48| >> :60:387:387:
Feb 24, 2021 at 7pm UK at Oakwell Stadium
BarnsleyBarnsley
2-0
StokeStoke City
Styles (9'), Dike (90')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Batth (8'), Obi Mikel (76'), Powell (90+1')

Preview: Barnsley vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship clash between Barnsley and Stoke City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Barnsley and Stoke City square off in the Championship on Wednesday evening with just goal difference separating the two playoff-chasing clubs.

While the Tykes are unbeaten in their last five fixtures in the second tier, the Potters have recently got back on track with successive home victories.


Match preview

Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael pictured in October 2020© Reuters

In the weeks after the turn of the year, Barnsley's promising form under Valerien Ismael started to unravel, creating the prospect of the remainder of the campaign being spent in mid-table.

Three successive victories for the loss of just one goal have changed the club's trajectory, however, and they will now feel that they can challenge for the playoffs.

Sitting just six points adrift of fifth-placed Reading with a game in hand, Ismael knows that the Tykes are within touching distance of becoming a major player in the promotion race, a remarkable change in fortunes after narrowly avoiding relegation in July.

Ismael will stress that his players should be taking one match at a time, but he can only have been left feeling positive after the impacts made by January arrivals Carlton Morris and Daryl Dike.

Morris has netted in three successive games, an important contribution with top goalscorer Cauley Woodrow having failed to score in five appearances.

Stoke City's Nick Powell celebrates scoring their second goal on February 20, 2021© Reuters

As far as Stoke are concerned, Michael O'Neill will be relieved that his side have rallied to claim successive wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Luton Town.

One win in 13 second-tier fixtures had left the Potters as outsiders for the top six, but they now trail Bournemouth by just four points with 15 matches remaining.

Although both of Stoke's recent triumphs have come at the bet365 Stadium, they now travel to Yorkshire believing that they can finally end a near three-month wait for an away victory.

Nick Powell and Steven Fletcher have scored Stoke's last eight goals, a period stretching back until the closing stages of their 3-3 draw at Rotherham United on January 19.

Barnsley Championship form: LDDWWW
Barnsley form (all competitions): DDLWWW

Stoke City Championship form: LDDLWW


Team News

Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill pictured in October 2020© Reuters

O'Neill is expected to keep changes to a minimum after Stoke performed well against Luton on Saturday.

Sam Clucas or James McClean could replace Josh Tymon on the left, but Fletcher should shake off a knock to remain in attack.

Morris will almost certainly earn a recall to the Barnsley XI, likely taking the place of Dike.

With Ismael having recently spoken about rotating his defenders, Toby Sibbick is an alternative to Michael Sollbauer.

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Walton; Andersen, Helik, Sibbick; Brittain, Palmer, Mowatt, Styles; Morris, Woodrow, Chaplin

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Gunn; Smith, Batth, Souttar, Norrington-Davies; Allen, Thompson; Brown, Powell, Clucas; Fletcher


SM words green background

We say: Barnsley 1-1 Stoke City

While both teams will be confident of earning maximum points at Oakwell, they will also be wary of gifting their opponents an edge in the race for the playoffs. With that in mind, expect a low-scoring contest in Yorkshire, one which could end in a draw.



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:curl


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How you voted: Barnsley vs Stoke

Barnsley
51.8%
Draw
28.2%
Stoke City
20.0%
110
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Luton Town manager Nathan Jones pictured in December 2020
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Nathan Jones: 'Stoke defeat was worst performance of my Luton career'
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich32207545252067
2Brentford33189661352663
3Watford33179743241960
4Swansea CitySwansea31178639221759
5Reading33166114537854
6Bournemouth331410947321552
7Barnsley32156113836251
8Cardiff CityCardiff331481149351450
9Middlesbrough33138123835347
10Stoke CityStoke331112103837145
11Bristol City33143163544-945
12Millwall3391683230243
13Preston North EndPreston33134163742-543
14Luton TownLuton32118132737-1041
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn32117144638840
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest331010132832-440
17Queens Park RangersQPR311010113136-540
18Derby CountyDerby32108142533-838
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield33106173850-1236
20Coventry CityCoventry33811143044-1435
21Birmingham CityBirmingham33810152541-1634
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham3185183342-929
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds3297162338-1528
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe3158182351-2823

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