Barnsley vs Blackburn Rovers preview: Injury struck Rovers to mount play-off charge at Oakwell
Blackburn Rovers' Sam Gallagher battles for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers at DW Stadium on June 27, 2020 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Gerhard Struber's Barnsley side will be looking to improve upon what has been an impressive return to action and add to the four points they've gained from a possible six - despite this impressive return on points, Barnsley sit bottom of the Sky Bet Championship.

Blackburn Rovers and Tony Mowbray will be hoping for three points in their hunt for the play-offs, sitting in ninth spot on 56 points, a win could see the Rovers rise as high as 7th place.

Key Battles

Barnsley's top scorer Cauley Woodrow will be looking to score his first goal since February, with his goal coming against Hull City in a 1-0 win on the road. Woodrow has managed 15 goals so far this season with two assists.

He will have his work cut out for him, though. With Manchester City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo looking to add another clean sheet to his previous eight so far this season. 

Previous Meetings

The two sides have met 64 times, Blackburn have asserted their dominance with an impressive 31 victories over the Tykes, drawing 20 times and only losing 13 times.

In their previous five meetings however, the Rovers have only managed two wins and a draw, losing twice to the Reds. 

In their most recent meeting, back in November - Blackburn emerged victorious in an emphatic 3-2 win at home.

Bradley Dack opened the scoring for the Rovers in the 24th minute and took their lead into half-time. Conor Chaplin was quick to open the scoring in the second half, equalizing in the 48th minute. 

Rovers took the lead again through a Stuart Downing goal in the 69th minute, with his hard-low strike comfortably beating Samuel Radlinger.

Woodrow managed to bring the two sides level again in the 82nd minute as Barnsley thought they'd earned a point on the road - Dack ruined the party only four minutes later, scoring a wonderful volley after his initial header from the back post was saved by Radlinger. 

Team News

Struber was happy to announce his squad had made it through his fixtures unscathed, unlike his opponents. 

Amari'i Bell and Derrick Williams have both missed the first two games for Blackburn through injury, Dack is still out with a long term injury, whilst Corry Evans is out with a broken toe. Mowbray was coy over the fitness of Lewis Travis, who picked up a knock against Wigan Athletic

In positive news for the Rovers, Tosin Adarabioyo's loan from Manchester City was extended till the end of the season. Adarabioyo has managed 29 appearances so far this season and scored three goal for Blackburn.

Predicted Line-ups

Barnsley XI: Sahin-Radlinger; Solibauer, Andersen, Williams; Ludewig, Palmer, Mowatt, Ritzmaier; Chaplin; Brown, Woodrow.

Blackburn XI: Walton; Nyambe, Lenihan, Adarabioyo, Bennett; Holtby, Travis, Downing; Armstrong, Gallagher, Brereton.

Managers Thoughts

Struber is feeling positive ahead of his teams clash against Blackburn and has faith in his youthful side:

“We have a young team with good energy, so this could be an advantage for us as the load becomes heavy in the next weeks.

“I think we may make a change in the team to help keep us fresh, but we will see.

“It’s a fluid system for us, with a back three, back four or back five. This helps us to make changes in personnel and our plan from game to game.”

Despite a few key absentee's, Mowbray believes his side will have enough to get them over the line against Barnsley:

“We’ll go to Barnsley with a team that will give us a good chance.

“Barnsley are a team that, as I’ve said over the last few weeks, are very talented. They also have a coach who has given them an identity.

“They have four points from their first two games back, so we know it will be a tough game, as they all are in this league.

“But we’ll go there with a mentality to get the three points, be positive and be aggressive."

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