What can Blackpool expect from Barnsley?- Predicted line-up, injury news, and season so far

Blackpool travel to Oakwell to take on Barnsley on Saturday afternoon (K.O. 3pm).
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The Seasiders head into the game on the back of their 4-1 victory over Reading, but have struggled away from home, with only one point in their first three outings on the road in League One this season.

Sports editor of the Barnsley Chronicle Doug O'Kane gave us the lowdown of what to expect from the Tykes.

Predicted line-up

Blackpool travel to Oakwell to take on Barnsley (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)Blackpool travel to Oakwell to take on Barnsley (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Blackpool travel to Oakwell to take on Barnsley (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
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(3-5-2) Roberts; Williams, de Givegney, McCart; O’Keeffe, Phillips, Kane, Styles, Dodgson; Cole, McAtee

Injury news

Luca Connell and Robbie Cundy have missed the whole season with illness and injury respectively. They are still recovering.

Kacper Lopata, who has played every league game so far in the middle of the back three, will miss the match after hurting his shoulder at Northampton on Saturday.

He could be replaced by either Mael de Givegney, a French summer signing from Nimes whose only previous league start saw him subbed on 37 minutes after conceding a penalty and being booked, Jack Shepherd who has impressed after joining from eighth-tier Pontefract in the summer, or Conor McCarthy who has just returned from 11 months out with an ACL injury.

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De Gevigney seems the most likely replacement for Lopata but it could be any of them, or even teenager Nathan James.

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Barnsley in general

The Reds are expected to challenge for promotion again, having set a club record of 32 wins in all competitions last summer then losing very controversially in the play-off final.

It was a tumultuous summer with the exit of head coach Michael Duff and all of last season’s back three.

It’s a group that is still gelling under new head coach Neill Collins who was brought in from the Tampa Bay Rowdies to his first role in English football management, but most of the signs are positive at the moment.

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They are fifth, they have two more points than at this stage last season, they have won six of their last seven matches in all competitions, and they have the league’s top-scorer in Devante Cole who has nine goals in nine games.

They also have a lot of quality and competition in the attacking midfield and wing-back areas.

But they have conceded the most goals at home of any League One team and all three of their losses have been at Oakwell, to Peterborough, Oxford and Portsmouth.

That has led to questions, particularly defensively, about whether they have the players to compete with the other sides looking to get to the Championship this season. Blackpool will be another test for that.