Barnsley v Bristol City | Friday 1st November 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Barnsley go in search of only their second win of the campaign when Bristol City visit Oakwell in front of the TV cameras on Friday night. The Tykes are winless since that somewhat surprising opening day home win over Fulham, meaning they’re currently 12-games without a victory in league and cup.
Bristol City on the flip side have lost only once inside 90-minutes in their last 13 overall, and are confident after scoring late in their last two to gain extra points.
Barnsley having a go
It was a surprise to many Barnsley supporters when it was revealed that Daniel Stendel was relieved of his managerial duties following the 5-1 away loss at Preston. Despite form being poor, he remained a popular figure around the club. Nevertheless, he is gone and Adam Murray is currently in caretaker charge.
The former Boston United has had an impact on the playing style, with a switch to a 3-5-2 formation seemingly making them harder to beat. They opened with back-to-back draws against likely promotion candidates Swansea and West Brom, before going down narrowly to rivals Huddersfield last weekend. Whilst yet to win, they’re certainly not as much as a soft touch as before.
Therefore, they’re likely to welcome Bristol City and ultimately try to beat them at their own game. Lee Johnson is expected to field a similar formation to try and combat the Tykes assault, but he does also have the option to change shape, as well.
Under Murray, Barnsley have been averaging 14.33 shots, and if we compare that to the rest of the league (albeit from the whole season), they would actually be fourth-highest in relation to shots on goal. Barnsley will definitely play to win, and whilst they’re not desperate yet, this is still very winnable.
Robins fight until the end
As touched upon already, Bristol City have netted late goals in their last two, turning a draw to Charlton into a win and a defeat versus Wigan into a draw. They really are incredibly difficult to beat, but not in the expected sense of being stubborn defensively, but by going until the very end. They only have three clean sheets this season, just one more than Barnsley.
Only league leaders West Brom have scored more goals between minutes 76 and full-time in the Championship compared to the eight Johnson’s men have achieved. There has actually been a total of 27 goals scored, for or against, in the second-half of their league contests this season. 65.86% of goals in their games have come after half-time, proving that they won’t be giving up despite the clock working against them.
Bristol City have actually conceded the first goal in four of their seven league away matches so far, meaning it’s a good job they finish so well as they may well have to turn the game around again. Barnsley have scored in 9/14 Championship clashes, but in only one of their home matches, which was against Leeds. Friday’s away team have netted in all bar two league contests, too.
The betting angle
Both of these sides are used to scoring goals, whilst they aren’t so prone to keeping goals out either. I am expecting an end-to-end game in this one, as both will definitely view this as one they’ll look to win. Murray is auditioning for the manager’s job full-time potentially, and a win here would be key, whilst lifting them up the table. A win takes Bristol City joint-top before the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.
A bet-builder has to be called upon to try and gain extra value, as both teams to score alone is very slim odds. That forms half of our bet considering 18 out of the 28 league games these teams have played combined this season has done so already, including in every Bristol away match.
We’ll go a little ambitious and back over three goals as the second half of our selection in the hope that this is indeed an entertaining fixture. These teams are in the top-five in the league in relation to their games containing four goals or more. To clarify, Both Teams To Score and Over 3 Goals is the play at 7/4 (Bet365).
Barnsley v Bristol City – Both Teams To Score and Over 3 Goals (7/4 Bet365)