Sky Sports’ EFL pundit has predicted a share of the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw when Barnsley host Cardiff City in the Championship at Oakwell tomorrow.
Barnsley’s surprise play-off bid has stalled in recent weeks following three consecutive defeats in the league, but progression at the expense of Norwich City in the FA Cup on Saturday should give the Tykes a much-needed boost.
Valerien Ismael’s men are currently eight points off the pace, and will be hoping they’ll be able to rely on their trusty form – with five of their previous six victories in all competitions coming here.
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But it’s no longer Neil Harris’ Bluebirds anymore – with the experienced Mick McCarthy replacing the former Millwall manager following their wretched run of results in recent weeks.
Despite form suggesting otherwise, Prutton thinks that the South Wales outfit’s run of defeats will come to an end in Yorkshire.
He told Sky Sports:
“While Barnsley have progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 2012/13 season and kept two clean sheets in the process, it’s been quite the opposite in the Championship, where they’ve not scored in three games. Their fourth-round win did come against league leaders Norwich, though, so there’s certainly something to build on.
“There’s a new man at the helm at Cardiff! It’s great to see Mick McCarthy back in the Championship for the first time since leaving Ipswich in 2018. He’s got work to do to turn around the fortunes of a Bluebirds side on a run of six league defeats in seven, but I’m sure it’s a task he’ll relish. This feels like it could end all square.”
I have to disagree with Prutton here.
Whilst Barnsley have lost each of their previous three matches in the Championship, their form at home all season has been outstanding.
Only Swansea, Brentford and Bournemouth have won at Oakwell since the opening day, and although Cardiff will be hoping the new manager bounce will work in their favour in South Yorkshire, I can see the Tykes edging this one.