Barnsley will be fresh and raring to go having had a weekend off, while Ipswich may still be mulling over their 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at the weekend. The Tractor Boys thumped Barnsley 3-0 earlier in the season yet with both managers under a little bit of pressure at the moment, the reverse fixture could turn out completely different.
Having got well away from the relegation zone a few weeks ago, recent form has deserted Barnsley and the Tykes are back in something of a relegation scrap. While five points still separate them from the drop zone, the club’s supporters have become increasingly frustrated with the team and their inability to put chances away. The Oakwell outfit are yet to score a goal in 2009 and Simon Davey has come under a lot of criticism for failing to get in a new striker soon enough. They’ve lost their last three games, two of which were against relegation rivals Southampton and Norwich, meaning they’ve made their task a whole lot harder of getting away from the pack below. The defeat at Norwich was particularly hurtful, with the Canaries going on something of a romp as they raced away to a 4-0 victory against a very poor Tykes outfit.
As for Ipswich, Jim Magilton may feel as though his side were slightly unlucky not to force a replay against Chelsea on Saturday. While their opponents ended up winning the game 3-1, it took two absolute thumping strikes to win it and that was after Ipswich had levelled. The Tractor Boys should take great credit from that performance and they’ll be hoping that those sorts of displays can transfer into the league. Despite spending a lot of money through the summer it’s been a disappointing season so far for Magilton and a large section of supporters are unhappy with his management. They’re currently sat in 11th position at the moment but with the play off s being six points away; it will take a very good second half of the season to make them achieve those early expectations.
As for team news, Barnsley look set to welcome back Martin Devaney who has missed the last couple of months with an ankle injury. Elsewhere, Hugo Colace isn’t yet fit enough to return and Stephen Foster will still be out injured, although Simon Davey is hopeful of handing a debut to Daniel Bogdanovic who signed on Monday. As for Ipswich, Jim Magilton has no new concerns for this one. Ben Thatcher could return after recovering from an illness yet other than that, there is nothing fresh to report on for the Tractor Boys.
Both of these sides aren’t in the best of form and with that, we can see them cancelling each other out. It won’t be pretty and we’ll predict a 1-1 draw.