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This Week's Opposition: Barnsley

Pompey suffered their first defeat under new boss John Mousinho at Peterborough last week. This time around however the Blues are back on home soil, they welcome Barnsley to PO4.

Deadline Day brought with it 2 new Pompey signings with both Di’Shon Bernard and Paddy Lane linking up with the squad, which had been bolstered by the additions of Ryley Towler and Matt Macey earlier in the January Transfer Window.

Will the new faces bring with them an instant impact? It’s almost time to find out, but first a closer look into the opposition they face at Fratton Park.


Northern Irishman Michael Duff is currently the manager of Barnsley.

The 45-year-old had just 1 previous experience in a managerial role before his appointment at the South Yorkshire club last summer, spending 4 years in charge of Cheltenham Town - Prior to that, he had been in charge of the Burnley reserves.

In 2021, Duff led Cheltenham to their first ever automatic promotion from League Two and into the third tier, subsequently guiding The Robins to the league title and going up as champions.

A fun fact about Michael Duff: He is believed to be the only player to have played in each of the top 8 tiers of English football in ascending order. He also registered 24 senior appearances in defence for the Northern Ireland national team.


32-year-old forward James Norwood is our one to watch on this occasion.

The former Forest Green and Tranmere talisman signed for The Tykes last summer, having spent 3 years at Ipswich Town, where he scored 26 goals in 77 league appearances.

Norwood reps the squad number 9 and so far this term has scored 6 league goals.


It’s James Norwood’s striking partner who leads the way in front of goal however…

Former Manchester City youth product Devante Cole has hit 7 goals in League One across the season so far.

The 27-year-old, who wears the number 44 shirt, has also found the back of the net in The FA Cup, scoring in The Tykes’ 3-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra in Round 2 back in November.

Despite topping the goalscoring charts for his side, Cole has struggled to produce in any of his last 7 appearances in all competitions, last bagging against Burton Albion at Oakwell on the 17th of December.


Michael Duff’s side currently occupy 6th place in League One, following an accumulation of 46 points from 26 matches.

The Tykes are 12 points behind 2nd place Sheffield Wednesday, who have played one game more at this stage.

Whilst Portsmouth were unoccupied in midweek, the same could not be said for Barnsley, who were away again on Wednesday night - Oxford United welcomed them to the Kassam Stadium.

They won that game by 2 goals to 1 thanks to goals from Bobby Thomas and Nicky Cadden but have not had much time to rest since then, travelling straight down to the South Coast to prepare for this weekend’s game.

The last time these 2 teams faced off it was Pompey who came out victorious, recording a 4-2 win at Fratton Park in the 4th Round of The FA Cup back in January 2020. 

Can the Blues get back to winning ways or will it be 2 without victory come 5pm on Saturday?

Robbie James, Jake Smith and Jay Sadler will be reporting LIVE from Fratton Park from 2 O'Clock on Saturday afternoon with all of the build-up to the visit of Barnsley in the latest round of League One fixtures.

Pompey Live is supported this season by Aqua Cars!

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