The Sky Blues continue the SkyBet Championship campaign this Saturday, looking to build upon last weekend’s dramatic victory versus Nottingham Forest.
Nickname: The Tykes
Address: Grove Street, Barnsley, S71 1ET
Pitch Size: 110 x 75 yards
Barnsley’s impressive 2020/21 campaign saw the South Yorkshire club achieve a fifth-place finish to the season under the management of Valérien Ismaël. The climax of Barnsley’s season ended in defeat at the hands of Swansea City in the Championship play-off semi-final.
Since, Markus Schopp has taken the reigns as Head Coach due to the departure of Valérien Ismaël to West Bromwich Albion over the summer. The Tykes have also recently brought in Devante Cole from Motherwell, Obbi Oularé from Standard Liège, Josh Benson from Burnley and Aaron Leya Iseka from Toulouse.
Meanwhile, Barnsley’s biggest summer outgoings have been former captain Alex Mowatt and striker Conor Chaplin. Mowatt departed the club in order to join newly-appointed Ismaël at West Brom, whereas Chaplin has recently signed for Ipswich in League One.
The Tykes claimed a hard-earned point on the road at Cardiff on the opening weekend of the 2021/22 Championship season, as Toby Sibbick’s first goal for the club cancelled out Marlon Pack’s header. Since then, Barnsley succumbed to a penalty-shootout defeat on Tuesday, away at Bolton in the Carabao Cup.
As a name synonymous with Austrian football, Markus Schopp earned 56 international caps and appeared at the 1998 World Cup during his playing days. He won the Austrian Bundesliga with SK Sturm Graz during the 1998/99 season and has also played for the likes of Hamburger SV in Germany and New York Red Bulls in America.
After an impressive three years as manager with TSV Hartberg in Austria, leading the club to their highest ever finish to an Austrian Bundesliga season, Schopp joined Barnsley in June 2021.
Last six games:
Lost (penalty shootout) - Bolton 0 (5) – 0 (4) Barnsley – Carabao Cup
Drew – Cardiff City 1-1 Barnsley – SkyBet Championship
Lost – Manchester City 4-0 Barnsley - Friendly
Drew – Morecambe 0-0 Barnsley - Friendly
Won – Barnsley 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday - Friendly
Won – Rochdale 1-2 Barnsley – Friendly
Last Time We Met:
A late Matty Godden goal added to Dom Hyam’s impressive first-half strike to earn the Sky Blues a 2-0 victory the last time we faced Barnsley, back in April this year.
Hyam lashed home a half-volley on the edge of the penalty area to put the Sky Blues ahead after nine minutes on that occasion, before a stoppage-time finish from Matty Godden to double the advantage meant that the Sky Blues achieved back-to-back league wins for the first time that season.
Read the full report to relive that day by clicking HERE.
Sky Blues wins – 30
Draws – 15
Barnsley wins – 18
Club connection – Matty James:
Having grown up in Lancashire, James spent his early career rising through the youth ranks at Manchester United, before two successive loan spells at Preston North End in 2010/11 earned the midfielder a permanent move to Leicester City the year after.
James and his Manchester United teammate Richie De Laet moved to Leicester as a double transfer in May 2012, with the pair signing three-year contracts each. Leicester earned a playoff place at the end of James’ first league season with The Foxes, meanwhile James started both legs of the 3-2 aggregate defeat to Watford in the Championship playoff semi-finals.
However, the 2013/14 season was a hugely successful year for James, who played 35 times as Leicester won promotion to the Premier League. Due to injury, James missed the entire Premier League-winning season two years later.
Two loan spells at Barnsley ensued, most recently playing for the Tykes last season, making 15 appearances at Oakwell before joining the Sky Blues in January. James scored his first goal for Mark Robins’ side in the 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers, helping the Sky Blues to an eventual 16th-placed finish last season.
Since, the midfielder has signed permanently for Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City in June.
John Busby will be the referee for Saturday’s game, having overseen Doncaster’s penalty shootout victory at Walsall on Tuesday night.
Busby will be assisted by Matthew Jones and Akil Howson whilst Andrew Kitchen will act as the fourth official.