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Valerien Ismael faces these Barnsley dilemmas ahead of Coventry City clash



Barnsley face another big game in their pursuit of a Championship play-off place on Sunday afternoon, as they travel to St Andrew’s to face Coventry City.

The Tykes go into the game sixth in the Championship table, four points clear of seventh placed Reading, with that their game in hand on the Royals, that could give them a seven point advantage in the race for the top six, with four games of the campaign remaining after this one.

Coventry meanwhile, go into the match still battling to avoid relegation from the Championship this season, there hopes of which will have been boosted by their 1-0 win at Rotherham on Thursday night.

This therefore, could be another big chance for Barnsley to strengthen their grip on a play-off place this afternoon, although manager Valerien Ismael will not be without issues to worry about heading into the game.

Here, we’ve taken a look at two dilemmas facing the Barnsley boss ahead of his side’s clash with Coventry.

Does he rotate?

One issue Ismael will have to consider ahead of Sunday afternoon, is the possibility of making alterations to his starting lineup.

That is something that Ismael has not done much of recently, which you can understand given there has been little reason to do so with the run of form they have been on.

However, Ismael does have options to make changes if he needs to, with only a small group of long-term absentees unavailable, and with plenty of football to come in potentially both the regular season and play-offs, Ismael may need to find the balance between keeping his squad fresh, and maintaining the momentum his regular starters have built with recent results.

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Can his side handle the pressure?

Another challenge Barnsley and Ismael will have to cope with, is the weight of expectation that now looks to be on them.

Having only avoided relegation on the final day last season, none would have expected this from Barnsley at the start of the current campaign, but it now looks as though a play-off spot is theirs to lose.

That is likely to be something of an unfamiliar scenario for a number of Ismael’s current players – certainly with the Tykes – so he may have his work cut out to ensure they can remain focused on one particular game at a time, as they look to get themselves over the line first in the race for the play-offs, and then perhaps the battle for promotion.

UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Valerien Ismael faces these Barnsley dilemmas ahead of Coventry City clash

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