Mark Robins has said several times that he wants Barnsley to push on and “smash” their points tally from previous years to provide momentum going into next season. Recent results would suggest that the team haven’t really responded to this with form remaining distinctly average with the players probably believing a play-off push was a step too far, and relegation never a real threat.
A draw away from home is always a good point and the Reds have managed that on their last three outings away from Oakwell. Mark Robins’ squad is also boosted by the return of several key players and he faces a difficult decision as to whom he leaves out. But with Palace fighting to maintain a gap between themselves and relegation placed Sheffield United, the meeting at Selhurst Park will be a tough one for Barnsley – even with an almost full-strength team. Jacob Mellis, who has really pulled the strings in the Reds midfield, is over his injury however this match may be slightly too soon for him.
Key Facts (Barnsley)
- Won just one in the last nine
- Gained a point from each of the last three away games
- A win would complete another league ‘double’
- Hugo Colace could make his 100th appearance for the club
Paul Stevenson, who writes a weekly blog for Shoot, has suggested that Reds fans would accept a defeat at Palace in order to further compound Sheffield United’s relegation fears. Is this really an accurate representation of the fans views? Whilst I’m sure an element of this is born out of the Blades’ perceived arrogance as a club (in terms of their chances at the start of the season) and quotes from Daniel Bogdanovic when he joined them, surely accepting a defeat for your own team in order to facilitate the demise of a rival isn’t a normal view? Especially when Barnsley themselves aren’t yet mathematically safe!
Confirmed starting line-ups:
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Ambrose, Danns, Iversen, Vaughan, Moxey, Gardner, Agustien, Dikgacoi
Subs: Price, Davis, Garvan, Scannell, Zaha, Easter, Counago.
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, Hill, Shackell, McShane, Butterfield, Haynes, Doyle, Colace, Gray, Harewood.
Subs: Preece, McEveley, O’Brien, Lovre, Devaney, Arismendi, O’Connor.