Brentford vs Barnsley
Saturday 16 December
Griffin Park, 3pm
Sky Bet Championship
It looks like Barnsley could be in for a long winter with their second season back in the Sky Bet Championship proving to be much tougher than their first. The Tykes, who finished 14th last season, are without a win since early November and have lost their last five Sky Bet Championship matches, scoring just one goal in that run.
Indeed, since losing the influential trio of Conor Hourihane, James Bree, and Sam Winnall in January, Paul Heckingbottom's side have won just nine games this calendar year in the league and go into tomorrow's game just four points clear of the relegation places.
Barnsley will be without Lloyd Isgrove and Adam Jackson for their trip south with the duo both currently recovering from knee injuries. Angus MacDonald missed last weekend's defeat to Derby County with an illness but is expected to be back while Zeki Fryers and Stephen Mallan both made the bench last weekend after coming back from injury.
For The Bees Henrik Dalsgaard remains sidelined as does Rico Henry while Alan Judge played 70 minutes for Brentford B on Thursday as he continues to step up his recovery. Lasse Vibe is touch and go after he limped off against Fulham a fortnight ago.
Paul Heckingbottom led Barnsley to the League One double in 2015, picking up promotion via the Play-Offs as well as the EFL Trophy. That Wembley win saw Heckingbottom earn his third promotion from the third tier via the Play-Offs. His first two came as a player with Sheffield Wednesday in 2005 and then a year later with Barnsley, the first of those at the expenses of Martin Allen's Bees. Those promotions were the high points in a 15 year playing career which also took in spells with Sunderland, Hartlepool United, Darlington, Norwich City, Bradford City, Mansfield Town and Gateshead.
After calling time on his playing career Heckingbottom was appointed the Head of Football Academy at Barnsley College before becoming Barnsley's Under-21 Head Coach in August 2012. Following the sacking of Danny Wilson in February 2015, Heckingbottom took temporary charge of The Tykes for a three game period before returning to his Academy role. After replacing Lee Johnson in February 2015 he became the first Barnsley manager in 104 years to lift a major trophy after their JP Trophy win that April and followed it up with Play-Off victory a month later.
Don't miss out on Saturday's Christmas Fixture against Barnsley with tickets on sale from just £20 adults and £1 juniors! There's plenty to get you in the festive mood so buy your tickets to join us this Saturday online here.
iFollow Brentford will be live from 2.30pm tomorrow with Mark Burridge hosting Matchday Live alongside Marcus Gayle and Alan Denman.