Backing The Barnsley Boys
Four or five more wins should just about do it for Valerien Ismael’s unlikely promotion chasers as Barnsley try and tie up one of the Championship’s play-off spots.
The two-week break came at just the right time for the Tykes who saw their 12-game unbeaten run (including nine wins) come to an end with defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
With time to take stock, recharge and devise fresh plans on the training ground I expect this high-octane side to come out swinging right away over Easter.
Barnsley aren’t trendy, they don’t have superstar names but they are super-fit, brilliant at pressing, direct and extremely hard to play against. In the shape of midfield dynamo Alex Mowatt and star striker Darrell Dike they also have two individuals who have proved to be among the division’s best.
I fancy them to target and claim all three points at Luton Town on Easter Monday.
Away from home, the Yorkshire minnows have been outstanding against opponents outside the Top 10. Played 10; Won 7, Drawn 2, Lost 1.
A trip to 13th placed Luton is no gimme (they are another side punching well above their weight this term) but it won’t hold any fear for Barnsley who are unbeaten on their last eight visits to Kenilworth Road.
Nathan Jones’ Hatters have also come up a little short against the Championship’s stronger outfits.
They have lost just once all season to teams currently below them, but Luton’s record against the rest is weak. Played 19; Won 3 Drawn 2, Lost 14.
Jones doesn’t have the biggest squad to work with either and I always feel that these bank holiday weekends are a big ask for a club of Luton’s resources.
With little time to recover from a clash at Derby County will they be able to field a strong enough starting XI against the Tykes? Let’s see.
Barnsley do not have huge depth either but a feature of Ismael’s management is to make bold in-game changes. He often asks his forwards to sweat blood for 45 minutes or an hour before swapping the lot of them. This type of rotation may help them over a congested Easter schedule.
With all those stats I’ve referenced in their favour, and with the stakes also being far higher for them than the hosts, I have to tip up an away success here.
Barnsley to beat Luton Town is 2.3 and that’s my pick.
- Barnsley to beat Luton Town (2.3)
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