Barnsley
vs Sheffield United preview: How to watch, team news, predicted lineups and
ones to watch
These opponents last came to blows four seasons ago, who will come out on top as they reunite?
Nathan Stirk - Getty Images

As the nights draw in, the EFL can no longer be considered to be in its early stages.

Meaning that games will only grow in significance, as teams will want to put themselves in the best possible position ahead of the January transfer window.

In the EFL Championship two sides meet on Sunday who will be hoping to improve on their current lowly positions, as relegation candidates Barnsley host local rivals Sheffield United.

Team news

Under-pressure Barnsley boss Markus Schopp won’t be able to call upon centre-back Aapo Halme for another one or two weeks, a player he has described as important. Josh Benson will also be unavailable, although should be in contention for their next match, whilst there is a possibility that Liam Kitching will feature after his recovery.    

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In the other camp, Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic will be without loanee Morgan Gibbs-White who is suspended. Fellow influential midfielder Sander Berge will likely be out for another couple weeks with a hamstring injury sustained last month, however George Baldock is available, having trained with the team in the week.  

Predicted lineups

Barnsley:

(3-4-2-1) Collins, Hondermarck, Helik, Moon, Brittain, Gomes, Palmer, Williams, Odour, Adeboyejo, Woodrow

Sheffield United:

(4-2-3-1) Olsen, Bogle, Egan, Davies, Stevens, Ndiaye, Fleck, McGoldrick, Norwood, Osborn, Sharp

Form guide

Last season saw Barnsley exceed expectations, finishing fifth in the table, before losing to Swansea City in the play-off semi-finals. They then lost manager Valerien Ismael to West Bromwich Albion, so may have expected a more difficult campaign.

However, their start to this season has been nothing short of a disaster, winning just one of their opening 13 games, finding themselves 23rd in the table, and would be bottom if not for Derby County’s points deduction. They have failed to score in their last three, and have lost their last five, so a win on Sunday has become something of a desperate hope if anything.

Meanwhile, United are having a difficult start to the season of their own. After relegation from the Premier League last term, optimistic fans may have been hopeful of an immediate return, especially with the appointment of Jokanovic, who has history of getting out of this division. However, an inconsistent beginning to the campaign of four wins and six defeats has left them 17th in the standings. A stoppage time defeat to Millwall was their most recent result, meaning they’ve picked up just three points from the last 12 on offer. So they will be hoping to return to winning ways against a team they should consider very beatable.  

Ones to watch

Obbi Oulare

Although Obbi Oulare is likely to start on the bench this Sunday, he is certainly one to look out for. The big Belgian striker made his debut as a substitute in his sides defeat to Middlesbrough in the week, making his first career appearance in nearly a year due to injuries. And despite the fact that he has admitted he will have to be careful in terms of his fitness, he is raring to go and prove himself a good signing for the Tykes. He will do that by scoring goals, something fans will hope he can do on Sunday if he is to make an appearance.

Iliman Ndiaye

Young midfielder Iliman Ndiaye has been having somewhat of a breakthrough season for the Blades, making eight appearances for the first team already this term. His manager has insisted that his age and experience will not be a factor in deciding his role and importance to the team. With the suspension to Gibbs-White, the 21-year-old will almost certainly start on Sunday, and will be looking to prove that he can be a mainstay for United, in their search for consistency.

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Previous meetings

These sides have met on a whopping 78 occasions over the years, with United winning 32 meetings to Barnsley’s 20. However the Blades have won just two of their ten most recent encounters, a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane in August 2017 and a 2-0 win at Oakwell in April 2015. This is the first time they’ve been in the same league as one another since 2017/18, with their last tie ending in a high-scoring 3-2 win to hosts Barnsley. Which is a result they’d be thrilled to replicate when they meet for the 79th time on Sunday.

How to watch 

For fans that can’t attend the game in Barnsley, the match will be available to stream on both websites. With the highlights available to watch by the end of the day at the latest. 

What the managers have said

Barnsley manager Markus Schopp spoke to the club’s website ahead of the derby, speaking about the significance of the game. He said:

“A derby is always something special. It’s a big chance for us to show the crowd, to show the fans, that we are here.

“Even if the situation is a tough one – but we know we have a lot of support.

“We have to bring all the crowd behind us so that we can make in one game, at least, a big step in the right direction.”

In the other dugout, Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic discussed his side’s situation with the local media. He said:

“We know we have not been good enough, we expected a different start. It’s simple, we can do better and we are working hard.

“I expected to be higher than where we are, but it’s our realistic situation and we must take responsibility, I am the first guy who needs to do that.

“A lot of us must do that too.”

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