Opposition report: Barnsley

Blues are looking for a third win in five games at Oakwell.


A closer look at this afternoon's opponents...


Earlier this week, the Tykes took on QPR in West London, recording their sixth straight victory as they continue their hunt for a play-off place. 

It's only the second time Barnsley have recorded six wins on the spin in the second tier - having last achieved the feat between May and September 1921. 


After taking the Barnsley job in October last year, Valerien Ismael has transformed the Tykes from a side standing 14th in the Championship to real play-off contenders.

Playing expansive, free-flowing football in his 3-4-3 formation, the former Wolfsburg boss has his team firing from all cylinders - scoring goals and also winning games.

Before arriving at Oakwell, Ismael had managed all over Europe - in Germany on several occasions, in Greece, before a more recent spell in Austria with LASK.

There, he led his players during the club's first ever Europa League campaign, where they reached the last 32 on debut. 


With 12 goals and four assists this campaign, Cauley Woodrow is the man firing Barnsley up the table. His goals have come steadily throughout the season, with his campaign getting underway during the Tykes' first game against Forest on the 5th September. The encounter was won 1-0 by Barnsley - with the winner coming from Woodrow himself. 

Strong, quick on the break and happy playing on the shoulder of the last defender, this is Woodrow's best goalscoring start to a season since he turned pro back in 2010 at Luton Town. 

His highest return came last year, as he bagged 15 goals in 42 appearance - a target he's well on-course to beat this season.


Barnsley came from behind at St. Andrew's in December, beating Blues 2-1. Scott Hogan had opened the scoring in the 56th minute after a lovely move - that his second goal of the season at the time. 

But the Tykes rallied through a dubious-looking penalty. Callum Brittain had taken on Kristian Pedersen down the right hand-sided before being adjudged to been fouled by the Danish defender. 

The spot kick was converted by Cauley Woodrow before Callum Styles' late deflected strike won it for the visitors. 


December's meeting between the two sides was the 84th in history, and Barnsley's 25th win over Blues.

The two sides went 31 years without a game between 1953 and 1984 as the Tykes tumbled down the divisions.

In the last ten meetings, the two sides have won four games each, with two draws as well. 


Barnsley won the FA Cup final for the first and only time in their history in 1912. But back then, the competition looked very different and if any game finished in a draw at any stage of the competition, the match would be decided by a replay - whether it was in the first round or the final. 

Barnsley needed a replay in the first round as they beat Blues 3-0 in the second game - after the first was drawn 0-0. 

Wins against Leicester and Bolton in rounds two and three followed without the need for a replay, before their fourth round tie against Bradford City was decided over four games - after three consecutive 0-0 draws, followed by a 3-2 Tykes win. 

They won both their semi-final and final 1-0, only after 0-0 draws had been played out against Swindon and West Brom in first legs. 

So in total, in their cup winning campaign, the Tykes played a hefty 12 games from start to finish.