Swansea vs Barnsley | Saturday 22nd May 2021, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Following an action-packed encounter at Oakwell in front of a limited but raucous Tykes capacity, Swansea departed the first leg with a 1-0 advantage over Barnsley to take into this intriguingly poised second leg meeting.
The Swans will now be the ones to benefit with the presence of some of their own fans, and they’ll be aiming to cheer them onto a first play-off final appearance since 2011, when managed by Brendan Rodgers.
Whilst Barnsley do have a deficit to overcome, boss Valérien Ismaël first has to set the rather simple but seemingly difficult task of trying to score a goal against this opposition. His side not only have lost all three head-to-head clashes this season, but they failed to score in any of them, although I’m not quite sure how they didn’t at least manage to beat that in the first leg after creating many chances in the second half especially.
Whilst that fact may put you off believing Barnsley can make it fourth time lucky, we can’t completely write them off. Much of that is because we don’t know exactly how Swansea will approach this game. They do have a lead, and certainly since around the mid-point of the season they were quite content to sit on leads, and thus invite pressure. It is a little different here because it is a two-legged affair, but that, for me, is the key to this whole tie.
That being said, they did this with good reason as they have the best record in the league after scoring the opening goal. They won 20, drew one and lost one, and considering they begin this game with a 1-0 lead so to speak, it further highlights the work Barnsley need to do. One thing for sure though is Barnsley will have a right good go here. They’re ranked fourth in the league for number of shots on goal, whilst Swansea have only kept three home clean sheets in 2021 so far.
I fancied Barnsley to progress in the tie before the first leg and I didn’t really see anything in the first leg to necessarily go against that. I feel they’ve cause some problems for Swansea here, and I do expect them to score. The value on them progressing have obviously increased with them losing last Friday, so I’m happy to throw forward Barnsley to Qualify at 56/19 (Mansion Bet).
The Yorkshire club of course will be up for this one, and we all know that they play a direct style of play, and this means they won’t look to necessarily ease their way into this one. Only Wycombe, Preston and Birmingham netted fewer first half home goals than Swansea, and with them already having the lead I just think that’ll play on their minds a bit. They’ll look to weather a bit of a storm to begin with. Barnsley Leading After 30 Minutes is priced 3/1 (William Hill), and I just wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen.
Finally, I like a bit of a value play on the goalscorer markets and believe I’ve found another one. I had Michal Helik to score anytime in the first leg, and he had a great chance with a header with was saved in the first half. Callum Styles is a central midfielder by trade, but has been doing a great job as a left wing back in this system. He fired a few attempts from distance last time out, and he is ranked fourth in the team based on amount of attempts on goal. 7/1 (Unibet) for him to score anytime is a fun little play.
Swansea v Barnsley – Barnsley to Qualify (56/19 Mansion Bet)
Swansea v Barnsley – Barnsley Leading After 30 Minutes (3/1 William Hill)
Swansea v Barnsley – Callum Styles Anytime Scorer (7/1 Unibet)