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Barnsley vs Middlesbrough: A view of the opposition
Friday, 9th Apr 2021 18:19 by Phil Spencer

Middlesbrough travel to Oakwell to take on Barnsley on Saturday afternoon.

While the play-off hopes of Neil Warnock's side are effectively over the Tykes are enjoying a wonderful season and find themselves in the role of genuine promotion candidates as we near the end of the season.

With the clash at Oakwell in mind, we caught up with Carlo and Chris from the Reds' Report podcast to get the lowdown on Boro's opposition.

What a season it’s been for Barnsley! Are you pinching yourselves?

Fair to say that whilst the majority of the fans were looking for a season where we would "compete more" than just surviving the current situation is beyond most fans belief.

A true testament to the long term plan the board /owners put in place a few years ago and that is now reaping its benefits.

What has changed this season? There's absolutely no doubt that the appointment of Valerien Ismael has been a catalyst for the upturn in results.

His tactical awareness and use of substitutes has seen us go from 3 points in the first 7 matches(under Struber) to 5th in the table with 6 matches to go!

Who have been Barnsley’s most important players?

Most important players, that a hard one. The impact of January signings Morris and Dike has been well documented.

Cauley Woodrow, Alex Mowatt, Mads Anderson ,Michael Helik and the the "C's" on the wing (Callum Brittain and Callum Styles) have all been solid.

Do you think you can go on to secure promotion?

Looking at the run in and our current position a play off position seems a realistic and achievable target.

Ismael gets the best out of his players and his man management skills have seen us be a dominant force in the top half of the table.

I can see Barnsley finishing in 5th.

How big an impact has Daryl Dike made since his arrival?

Daryl Dike has been a massive piece of the puzzle.

For too long we've relied on the skills and goals of Cauley Woodrow, the introduction of Dike has added physicality, hunger, skill and brute strength to the Barnsley forward line-up.

The young American is doing extremely well and there's rumoured interest from various Premier League Teams.

"We're lead to believe that a pre-agreed fee was agreed by Orlando and Barnsley should the Reds want to make his transfer permanent.

Predicted line up

Walton, Sibbick, Helik, Anderson, Brittain, Palmer, Mowatt, Styles, Woodrow, Dike, Morris.

Score prediction

I'm going for a 2-1 win for Barnsley.

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