Up until last season, this is a match which has been a regular on the football schedule for the last few years. Both of these sides were regarded as established Championship outfits yet with Coventry dropping into League One, it means that the Tykes now find themselves as firm favourites ahead of the game.
Even though Barnsley might find themselves a whole division above their opponents, some of their supporters might actually question the favourites tag which we have just stuck to them. Sat bottom of the Championship, the Oakwell outfit have been poor throughout the campaign and many are tipping them for relegation already. Danny Wilson returned as manager a few weeks ago but despite being involved in four games, the Tykes have still not accumulated a victory. In fact, they have lost both of their home fixtures under Wilson, meaning that they have now not won at Oakwell in six attempts. Still, fans will be buoyed following a 1-1 draw at in-form Birmingham on Wednesday, with that at least beefing up their away record for the time being.
Coventry on the other hand have experienced a turbulent campaign, both on and off the field. In terms of the latter, the Sky Blues have been forced to leave Coventry and play all of their home games in Northampton – in a move which has driven away a lot of fans. Considering the fact that the Midlands outfit started the season on -10 points, the fact that they find themselves just six away from the playoffs speaks volumes about their achievements so far. If we look to recent form, Steven Pressley’s side have performed well over the last couple of months with just one defeat to their name over their last eight matches. Additionally, having lost just once on the road in their last ten outings, there’s no doubt that they’ll be on the hunt for a cup upset as they travel to Yorkshire.
In terms of team news, Barnsley are still not sure whether new loan signing Brek Shea will feature as they await confirmation from his parent club Stoke. The Tykes may have a couple of other extra faces to choose from though, with the likes of Jim McNulty and Dale Jennings returning from loan contracts with Tranmere and MK Dons respectively. The visitors meanwhile won’t be able to rely on Callum Wilson and Conor Thomas, with shoulder and head injuries keeping them on the sidelines. Elsewhere, there might be a place for John Fleck after he recovered from a hamstring issue.
In terms of a prediction, we think this could be one of the first upsets of the weekend. Barnsley have been poor throughout the campaign, whereas their opponents are a solid League One outfit with a decent away record. With that, we’ll tip a 2-1 victory for the visitors.