A trip to Barnsley is this evening's Sky Bet Championship assignment. We head to South Yorkshire on a five game unbeaten run to face a Barnsley side who have won four of their games in that same spell. Ahead of the trip to Oakwell, here's all the pre-match build up and info about The Tykes.
Barnsley's form over the last 12 months isn't far off Play-Off pace as The Tykes seek to re-establish themselves as a second tier Club.
On this date in 2019, The Tykes had won just one of their opening 17 and were staring at an instant return to the third tier. The 19/20 campaign had already seen Daniel Stendel and Adam Murray fill the Head Coach role, without success, at Oakwell while relatively unknown Austrian coach Gerhard Struber had just lost his opening game in charge to Blackburn Rovers.
Fast forward a year and, despite last month's departure of Struber to New York Red Bulls, Barnsley sit 13th in the table after winning four of their five league games under former Bayern Munich defender Valérien Ismaël.
After no wins and just one clean sheet in their opening seven games, the Tykes have netted eight goals in their last five, keeping clean sheets in each of their four wins.
Top scorer Cauley Woodrow has five goals in all competitions, to go with two assists, while Conor Chaplin averages just under two key passes per game from midfield.
Pontus Jansson returned at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday but Ethan Pinnock missed out with a dead leg. Should Ethan be fit then it will only be Shandon Baptiste (knee), Mads Roerslev (foot) and Christian Norgaard (ankle) who miss out.
Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael will be unable to call upon the services of German midfielder Mike-Steven Bahre and Welsh left-back Ben Williams, who are both long-term absentees, but other than that has no concerns.
Valérien Ismaël is well in the mould of Barnsley's recent successful appointments, arriving in England with extensive experience in Austria and Germany.
As a centre-back, Ismaël played more than 400 professional games, including 13 appearances for Crystal Palace in 1998. He had three spells with hometown club Strasbourg, winning two Coupe de la Ligues and an Intertoto Cup. He picked up a further League Cup with Lens before moving to Germany. He won the double with Werder Bremen in 2003/04, repeating the trick with Bayern Munich two years later.
He enjoyed early success in the dugout with Hannover II and VFL Wolfsburg II, winning two Regionalliga Nord titles at VFL either side of an unsuccessful 14 game spell in charge of 1. FC Nürnberg. It wasn't until he arrived at Austrian side LASK in 2019, following 17 games in charge of Wolfsburg and one in charge of Greek side Apollon Smyrnis, that his managerial career took off. LASK bowed out in the Last 16 of the Europa League to Manchester United and finished fourth in the Austrian Bundesliga, despite a 12 point deduction. However, that wasn't enough for the club hierarchy who sacked him despite a 62 per cent win ratio from his 50 games.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Tonight's game is only available on iFollow, it will not be on Sky Sports or the red button.
Season Ticket and Premium Seat Holders already have VIP access to the game but match passes are also available for £10 (£7 international fans) so you can watch live from Oakwell.