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Match Previews

WALSALL VS. BARNSLEY: MATCH PREVIEW

18 May 2016

Play-off semi-final second leg...

WALSALL VS. BARNSLEY
Banks’s Stadium
Thursday, 19th May 2016 (Kick-off 7.45pm)
Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi-final second leg

OVERVIEW:
The Saddlers are hoping to become the first team in the 29-year history of the play-offs to overturn a three-goal first-leg deficit. Jon Whitney’s men have scored three or more goals on nine occasions this term and have been in good form at the Banks’s of late, winning four of their last five home games. Paul Heckingbottom’s Barnsley, who are on the verge of a second Wembley appearance of the season having beaten Oxford in April’s JPT final, are unbeaten in eight away games.


HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD:
Walsall wins:
16
Barnsley wins: 17
Draws: 13

FIRST-LEG RESULT:
14th May – Barnsley 3-0 Walsall
Barnsley took control of the tie with a comprehensive first-leg victory at Oakwell. Jason Demetriou’s 45th-minute own goal put the Tykes ahead before Sam Winnall’s quick-fire second-half brace secured a deserved win.

Barnsley team:
Davies, Scowen, Roberts, Mawson, G Williams, Isgrove (Chapman 84’), Brownhill, Hourihane, Hammill, Fletcher (White 77’), Winnall (Toney 67’).
Subs not used: McCourt, Townsend, Tuton, Cowgill.

Walsall team: Etheridge, Demetriou, Downing, O’Connor, Henry, Morris (Mantom 60’), Chambers, Sawyers, Forde, Bradshaw (Hiwula 71’), Lalkovic (Cook 84’).
Subs not used: Taylor, MacGillivray, Preston, Osbourne.




BARNSLEY CARETAKER MANAGER:
Paul Heckingbottom
– The 38-year-old has won 12 of his 20 matches as caretaker manager and guided the Tykes to JPT glory last month. The former Manchester United trainee was a member of the Barnsley squad that won promotion from League One via the play-offs in 2005/06. He also played for Darlington, Bradford and Sheffield Wednesday to name but a few.

BARNSLEY STAR MAN:
Sam Winnall
– The diminutive striker scored his 23rd and 24th goals of a prolific season in Barnsley’s 3-0 first-leg victory over Walsall. Wolverhampton-born Winnall, who finished joint-third in the League One scoring charts, has plundered 37 goals in 91 appearances for the Tykes since signing from Scunthorpe in July 2014. The 25-year-old fired Scunthorpe to promotion from League Two in 2013/14, finishing as the division’s 23-goal top scorer.

VIEW FROM THE BARNSLEY CAMP:
Paul Heckingbottom (speaking after the first leg win)
– “We’re over the moon with that but it is only half-time in the tie, and 3-0 up at half-time is something we’ll take. We’ve put ourselves in a good position but we’ve not got what we’re after yet. We have to go at it with the same mindset and same approach and focus and determination on Thursday.”



WALSALL TEAM NEWS:
Midfielder Reece Flanagan (ACL) is out.

REFEREE:
Darren Deadman.

STAT OF THE DAY:
Walsall's last home victory by three or more goals was against Crawley (5-0) on 14th April 2015.

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