Barnsley V Sheffield United: Match Preview
Barnsley Team News:
Barnsley will only be without Stephen Foster for this match, who is suspended due to bookings. Otherwise, Robins has a full squad to choose from and should be able to name an otherwise unchanged line up from the one that won at Peterborough last week. Bobby Hassell should deputise for Stephen Foster at centre back, possibly taking the captaincy.
Player to watch: Iain Hume
Hume will say he holds no personal vendetta against Sheffield United or Chris Morgan for the events at Oakwell last season, but just watch him when he takes to the field tonight. I`m backing him to score a goal and lay the ghost of Morgangate to rest, on the field any way.
Sheffield United Team News:
Sheffield United are visting Oakwell on a run of four straight defeats and without a win in seven. They have a depleted squad due to injuries and suspensions.
Captain Chris Morgan misses the derby through a one match suspension for picking up five yellow cards in the season. Other doubts include Derek Geary, Jamie Ward and former Barnsley target Lee Williamson.
Gary Naysmith, Kyle Walker and Nick Montgomery are also not expected to feature.
Player to watch: Kyel Reid
Barnsley fans will be well aware of what Kyel Reid can do when he is on form, having robbed the Tykes of a valuable point at Oakwell in their final home match last term against Wolves. The talented winger also spent some time on loan at Oakwell in the 2006/07 season.
Last season both meetings between these two sides ended in a 2-1 victory for Sheffield United. The fixture at Oakwell was a fiery one with Sheffield United taking the lead through James Beattie in the first half before both sides has players seeing red. Anderson Da Silva and Ugo Ehiogu were dismissed for a coming together off the ball on the half hour mark.
What followed was a tense contest with Barnsley trying desperately to equalise, but their good work being undone in the eigthy-fifth minute when Rob Kozluk handled in the box for Beattie to despatch the penalty. Barnsley gathered a ray of hope on 87 minutes wihth Odejayi nodding in from close range but the game ended in defeat for the Reds.
Mason hails from Bolton, Lancashire and was the referee for our Play-Off final victory over Swansea City in Cardiff in 2006.
Sheffield United have been hit by injuries to lots of key players and it has been reported that Kevin Blackwell is struggling to field eleven for this fixture. Captain Chris Morgan is suspiciously suspended so will miss a return trip to Oakwell, almost exactly a year after the incident which left Iain Hume`s life in serious danger. He will certainly not be missed by any of the home crowd who would have given him possibly the most hostile reception any player has ever seen at any ground. Unfortunately for Barnsley, Stephen Foster will also be missing due to suspension. However, Bobby Hassell can deputise in the centre of defence.
I feel that in this instance to our delight, we will be stronger than the Blades. Blackwell will probably cry like a baby about injuries if they lose but that`s football. If a player gets injured you have to utilise your squad and get on with it. We know that only too well thanks to Chris Morgan.