Oakwell plays host to a massive game in the battle to stay afloat in the Championship this weekend as Sheffield Wednesday make the short trip north to face Barnsley.
Both sides are on horrible runs but, with three draws from their last six games, the Tykes come into this as the form team, though if your definition of ‘form’ is picking up three points from 27 available then it’s high time you got a new dictionary. The hosts are 11/8 to earn the bragging rights in this South Yorkshire derby.
The Owls, who’ve been bettered in seven successive outings, culminating in last week’s crushing reverse at home to Bristol City. The writing appears on the wall for Wednesday but their 19/10 price can bring home the bacon here. They won 3-0 the last time they went away to a relegation rival and Barnsley are without a win in eight home games, losing three of the last four.
Two wins and a draw from the four duels these sides have contested in the Championship, including one on their most recent visit, will give the visitors confidence of ending their foul spell with three points but they would definitely take a draw right now. This eventuality can be backed at 23/10.
A dodgy defence is one of the key reasons for Wednesday’s current plight and in three of their last six they’ve given up more than two goals to their opponents. It seems unlikely that they’d snap their losing streak by repeating that feat again here, but the price for Barnsley to score over 2.5 goals themselves pays out a generous 7/2.
Obviously, with the Tykes languishing alongside their local rivals at the foot of the Championship table, their defence isn’t up to much either and Sheff Wed will be looking at the fact that they’ve conceded as well as scored in each of their last five games as a potential weakness to exploit.
It’s not the most exciting of punts at 8/13, but it possesses an excellent chance of coming in and should not be ruled out.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date