We make the journey to Yorkshire this weekend as we look to make it two wins on the bounce and close the gap on the play offs whilst trying to get further clear of relegation – the league is that tight!
Lee Johnson ‘They have got a very good manager in Dean Smith. They punch above their weight which is always the sign of a good manager. He has got them into the JPT Final and they are a good side with threats. If they were to beat us they would go above us on goal difference – it`s so tight in League One you can think you`re way ahead of somebody and one results turns that perception.’
Barnsley Team News:
Lee Johnson could be tempted to name an unchanged XI for the third game in a row when the Saddlers travel to South Yorkshire.
The Reds have fielded the same side for both of Johnson`s games at the helm and with forward Sam Winnall not fit enough to start; it could be the case of same again.
Striker Winnall – who last started for the Club back in late November – was introduced as an 89th minute substitute against Coventry on Tuesday but with George Waring netting two in his last two games, the on-loan Stoke City man should get the nod once again.
Player to watch: Milan Lalkovic
Milan needs no introduction to the Walsall faithful having enjoyed a loan spell here.
His pace and trickery will cause Purkiss and co problems however he can go missing and Walsall will know this.
Walsall Team News:
Walsall will be without Rico Henry and Sam Mantom.
Walsall are sweating on the fitness of Anthony Forde and Jordan Cook.
Player to watch: Jordy Hiwula
Hiwula has made an impact since joining on loan from Man City. His four goals in seven games has helped the side and his pace is giving opposition defences headaches.
Match Facts & Stats
Walsall have won fifteen, lost fourteen and drawn thirteen against Barnsley.
Walsall have third best away record in the league and have only lost once on the road in the past nine.
Our last victory at Oakwell came in 1983.
Referee: Mr S Attwell (Warwickshire)
Linesmen: Mr Paul Cook and Mr Akil Howeson
Fourth Official: Mr Ken Haycock
Atwell has officiated tweenty nine games this season, issuing seventy two yellow cards, three reds and has awarded three penalties.
Atwell will always be remembered for allowing a Reading goal to stand when the ball had clearly gone wide during their game with Watford in 2008.
Attwell has officiated three Walsall games during his career, our 1-1 draw at home to Rotherham (2013), our 0-0 draw with Hartlepool (2012) and our 4-2 victory at MK Dons (2012)
Given our poor record at Oakwell a draw is the best we can hope for 1-1