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This Week's Opposition: Barnsley

Photo Credit: Barnsley FC

After a 95th-minute equaliser from Colby Bishop saw the Blues gain a point at Derby County on Saturday, we’re back on the road again for a midweek fixture up north in Barnsley.

After extending their unbeaten league run to 18 games at the weekend, matchday 8 is just around the corner.

A postponed match due to international call ups sees John Mousinho’s side head to Oakwell Stadium for a midweek clash for a second consecutive season - This game was originally pencilled in for September the 9th.

Let’s find out a bit more about The Tykes…

MANAGER

40- year-old Neill Collins is at the helm for The Tykes.

Collins is a former Scotland Under-21s and Scotland B international who played as a centre-back and started his professional career with Queen’s Park, before moving to Dumbarton.

In 2004 Collins transferred to Sunderland but failed to make the first team.

After loan moves to Hartlepool United and Sheffield United, he was loaned to Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he signed a permanent deal in 2007.

Following Wolves' promotion to the Premier League, Collins went out on loan again and this time to Preston North End - He signed with them in 2010 but quickly moved to Leeds United, with whom he won promotion to the Championship later that same year.

Collins soon returned to Sheffield United where he made over 100 appearances, before going out on loan to Port Vale.

He then moved to America to play for Tampa Bay Rowdies, which was where he ended his 18-year playing career. He had scored 35 goals in 583 league and cup appearances in total.

Collins took his first post in management in 2018 when he transitioned from player to head coach at the Tampa Bay Rowdies. In July of this year, Collins returned to England when he was appointed head coach of Barsnley on a 2-year deal.

ONE TO WATCH

23-year-old midfielder Josh Benson is one to keep an eye on this time around.

Benson, who wears the number 10 shirt for The Tykes, signed from Burnley on an undisclosed fee during the summer transfer window of 2021.

He scored the first of his 5 Barnsley goals in a Carabao Cup First Round win over Middlesbrough last season - The former Arsenal youngster went on to score 4 more goals across all competitions last season, recording 43 appearances.

It was with The Clarets of Burnsley where Benson first caught the attention of rival Football League clubs, featuring 6 times in the Premier League during the 2020/21 campaign.

Benson returned to injury 2 matches ago, managing 90 minutes in a Papa John’s Trophy tie against Grimsby a fortnight ago before coming on as a late sub against Burton Albion on Saturday.

TOP SCORER

Barnsley's current top goalscorer is Devante Cole, who so far has 8 league goals to his name.

The 28-year old, who wears the number 44 shirt, started his season off with a hat trick on the opening day against Port Vale.

Cole first played for Barnsley during a loan spell from Manchester City in 2014/15, scoring his first goal for the club in only his second appearance in a 4-1 home win over Gillingham.

After playing for Bradford City, Fleetwood Town, Wigan Athletic, Doncaster Rovers and Motherwell, with loan spells at MK Dons, Burton Albion and Motherwell sandwiched between, Cole returned to Oakwell on a 3-year contract in 2021. 

CURRENT FORM

Barnsley are currently sitting 5th in the League One Table, leapfrogging the Blues at the weekend, who drop 1 place down to 6th.

On the opening day, Barsley oversaw a 7-0 victory over Port Vale, the biggest opening day defeat for any team in the EFL since the 1962-63 season, over 60 years ago.

Since then, the Tykes have won 3, drawn 1 and have been defeated twice.

Last season saw Barsnley lose out on promotion to the Championship after a 1-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday in the Play-Off Final, after Josh Windass scored a last-gasp winner in extra-time at Wembley.

With just 1 position and goal difference separating the 2 sides, who will come out on top in this encounter?

Catch all of the action as Portsmouth travel to Oakwell and take on Barnsley in League One by tuning into Pompey Live on 93.7 FM, DAB Digital Radio or iFollow this Tuesday (September 19th) evening from 7pm! (Kick-off: 7:45pm)

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