Friday, 16 August 2013

Pointless clash

Two teams without any points face each other at Oakwell tomorrow in the clash between Barnsley and Charlton Athletic. Charlton's last outing there saw them win 6-0, but there will be no repeat of that tomorrow. Barnsley boss David Flitcroft has said that the memory will motivate his team. Chris Powell said yesterday that he would settle for 1-0.

Johnnie Jackson will be out because of his injury and that will weaken our midfield. He may lack pace, but we miss him when he isn't there. Simon Church may start up front with Yann Kermorgant.

The Tykes finished 21st last season, making it two seasons in a row ending one place above the drop zone. Things improved a lot last year after Keith Hill was sacked in December and replaced by his assistant David Flitcroft, although he wasn't the board's first choice. Four Four Two has them finishing 20th this time round and that sounds about right to me given that they have one of the lowest wage budgets in the Championship.

Their striking options include former Sheffield Wednesday striker Chris O'Grady and 20-year old forward Dale Jennings who played for the Bayern Munich second team for two seasons. However, former Ipswich striker Jason Scotland is pressing for a starting role. David Perkins provides authority and balance in the midfield. However, their real problem is defensive as last season's result shows. They are taking some encouragement from the news that Wales international centre-back Lewin Nyatanga could be back in the squad.

This is a six pointer, but I suspect that it will be a case of a point each. Odds (Coral) Barnsley 7/5, Draw 23/10, Charlton 19/10.

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