Barnsley are looking for a third straight win for the first time this season as they make the trip to East Yorkshire and Hull City, eager to close the gap to 21st-place after two wins.
The Tykes looked like facing the drop after a poor run in the New Year saw them slump to the bottom of the league and at real risk of being cut adrift from the rest of those fighting for survival.
The last two fixtures have massively boosted their survival prospects as they made the trip to Fulham and then welcomed Middlesbrough to Oakwell. Not many will have expected Gerhard Struber’s men to get a result at Craven Cottage, let alone be on the right side of a 3-0 thumping.
A comprehensive ‘1-0 battering’ of relegation rivals Middlesbrough has seen the Tykes move to within five points of safety with 12 games left to play and games against the teams around them still left to play.
They face a Hull City in a desperate run of form at the moment and slipping closer and closer to the relegation quagmire after a winless run that stretches back to New Year’s Day.
Struber could be buoyed in the run-in by the return of key players as he looks to pick up more points to close the gap on Huddersfield Town who sit in safety at the moment.
With the trip to the KCOM Stadium presenting the Tykes with a strong chance to pick up another vital win and build momentum over their opponents, here is the side we expect Struber to name on Wednesday night…
After such a comprehensive performance at the weekend against Boro in a 3-4-1-2 formation, it would make sense for Struber to continue in that fashion for the Hull clash.
In goal will remain Brad Collins who has been filling in very well for the absent Sami Radlinger, who was confirmed by Struber being set to miss another week most likely. Even if Radlinger was fit, Collins has been in great form and deserves to retain his spot regardless of anyone else.
In front of him in a back three will be Jordan Williams, Aapo Halme, and Michael Sollbauer. This trio kept a clean sheet last time out and looked relatively unthreatened throughout against Boro so there is no point in changing a winning formula.
A midfield four will consist of Kilian Ludewig, the returning Marcel Ritzmaier, Alex Mowatt, and Clarke Oduor. Mike Bahre makes way for a fit and returning Ritzmaier who has been an important part of the team since arriving in January. The wing-backs on either side have also been very good going both ways with Oduor, in particular, catching the eye.
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In attacking midfield will be arguably one of the most important players to the system in Cauley Woodrow who provides a great bridge from midfield to attack with excellent linkup play and a very keen eye for goal. The Tykes’ top scorer this season and was a star player when they overcame his former club Fulham, with two goals and an assist.
Playing up front will remain Jacob Brown and Conor Chaplin who have also chipped in with very important goals in the last two games, with Chaplin’s goal at the weekend settling matters after he was first denied by the crossbar.
Struber will be happy with the performances of his players and making too many changes to a winning team would be foolish with every single game vital now.