This is unquestionably a fixture featuring two of the more unfashionable sides in the Championship, although one of them is situated in a stable position while the other is constantly looking over their shoulder. Subsequently, with Barnsley classed as the latter, there is going to be immense pressure on the Tykes as they make the short trip to Turf Moor.
With eight points currently separating Burnley from the playoffs, it will take a mammoth effort for the Clarets to achieve such a finish and Sean Dyche must be secretly planning for next season. It could be said that Dyche has initiated some improvement since his appointment at the end of 2012, although recently they have faltered and their fans will be determined to get back to winning ways this week. While the club did record a narrow away win over Charlton in their last game, this put an end a six game winless run where they managed to pick up just two points. Dyche will now be hoping that his team can record a rare win at home, with the last arriving in mid-January.
Barnsley meanwhile are probably slightly worried. A couple of weeks ago the Tykes were enjoying the form of their life, with David Flitcroft’s men winning eight out of nine games in all competitions – with the only dropped points occuring in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich. However, since that run ended they’ve suffered two defeats, with Bristol City and Bolton being the two sides to take points off them. In those two games they’ve conceded eight goals, meaning that it is clear to see where the problems sit. On a more positive note, they have scored five goals in these games – meaning that they are at least converting chances that fall their way.
Something that could hinder Burnley ahead of this game is their lack of players, with Sean Dyche sweating on the fitness of three men in the form of Dean Marney, Chris McCann and Ross Wallace. However, even if the trio do not pull through, Dyche may have other options with Ben Mee having an outside chance of featuring. There’s little to report for the Tykes meanwhile, although Rory Delap could return after missing the club’s last game against Bolton. Elsewhere, David Flitcroft will not be able to rely on Jimmy McNulty and Stephen Dawson due to injury.
Burnley approach this game on the back of a win at Charlton and we think this could be vitally important. Barnsley meanwhile appear to be on a downward spiral and with the Tykes faring so badly at the back over recent weeks, our tip is going to be an entertaining 3-1 win for the home outfit.