Teenager Paul Digby and recent signings Stephen Dawson and David Cotterill could all make their first appearances for the club. Defender Bobby Hassell is still out.
Blues have doubts on the fitness of Nikola Zigic (Knee) and Guriane N’Daw (Hamstring) while Marlon King (groin) and Stephen Carr are also unlikely to play
Blues needed a late Chris Burke goal to rescue a 1-1 draw when Barnsley came to St Andrews in September. Jacob Butterfield had earlier put the visitors ahead with a stunning strike from thirty yards.
Barnsley sit fourteenth having won three and lost three of their last six in the league. At the weekend they 2-0 over Portsmouth.
Blues are now sixth but have games in hand on most of those above them. They have won four and drawn two of the last six in the league. They are unbeaten since Christmas.
As I write this I am keeping one eye on the weather forecast just to check that there is no chance of a repeat postponement. With things moving on so quickly in football I can’t really just re-post my preview from ten days ago although I’m glad the manager of the month curse I mentioned then has not materialised. We have started to look very lightweight up front though with Adam Rooney again being likely to be our only fit senior striker. I thought Jake Jervis did well when he came on on Saturday so should be given another chance.
Tuesday’s game is the first of a number of away games we have against sides in the bottom half of the table. After this game we have trips to Coventry, Doncaster, Ipswich and Portsmouth. If we are to make that eighty point target (Which I’m wavering on but going to stick by for a little longer) we will need a few wins on our travels. We can’t rely entirely on our home form. I’d say we need to pick up three or four wins away from home and these are games we should target for them. I’m not saying they will be easy but I’d rather not have to rely on us winning at Leicester or West Ham. There are nine leagues games to be played before the end of March so slip ups by all teams can be expected.
The one area we have improved greatly in recently is our defence away from home. We have not conceded more than one goal since drawing with Blackpool at the end of November. We will also be helped by Barnsley selling their leading scorer Ricardo Vaz Te on transfer deadline day. They do have other goals in the team though with Craig Davies having scored nine and Andy Gray seven. They have conceded twenty four goals at home in the league which is the third highest in the division. Our forwards will get chances but it would be helpful if Zigic is available. I’m a bit worried that Zigic’s injury is one of those “One week away from fitness” ones like he had for six months last year. Otherwise we might have to rely on Super Curtis and Super Dave from set pieces again.
My Prediction Barnsley 1 Blues 1
C’mon you Blue Boys.