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Oct 24, 2021 at 12.30pm UK
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Preview: Barnsley vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Barnsley vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Championship clash between Barnsley and Sheffield United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Barnsley host Sheffield United in a South Yorkshire derby in the Championship on Sunday afternoon.

The Tykes currently sit 23rd in the table, while the Blades are 17th following relegation from the Premier League last season.

Match preview

The pressure is growing on Barnsley boss Markus Schopp as his side sit three points adrift of safety following a 2-0 loss to Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

It was a fifth consecutive defeat for the Tykes and extended their winless run to 11 matches; their only victory so far this season came against Coventry City in mid-August.

The departure of Valerien Ismael in the summer, along with the loss of Alex Mowatt and Daryl Dike, has hit Barnsley harder than expected after they finished fifth last season.

The team's biggest problem appears to be putting the ball in the back of the net; they are the Championship's lowest scorers with just seven goals to their name and have failed to score in six of the last eight games.

The Tykes have only won one of their previous five games against Sheffield United, with Tom Bradshaw scoring an 88th-minute winner the last time they faced the Blades in April 2018.

That defeat was only a bump in the road for Sheffield United on their way to promotion to the Premier League and they are targeting an immediate return to the top flight this year.

Following a poor start to the campaign, Slavisa Jokanovic's side appeared to be turning a corner in September but have now lost three of their last four matches.

The Blades conceded in the 92nd minute to lose 2-1 at home to Millwall on Tuesday night, leaving them six points behind the playoff places.

Sheffield United have won just one of their six away games so far this season and have kept only three clean sheets in 13 games, which may give hope to Barnsley's underperforming attack.

Barnsley Championship form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Sheffield United Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Sheffield United form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Schopp has confirmed that Aapo Halme will be out through injury until at least after the November international break, while Josh Benson and Mads Andersen are also sidelined.

There is hope that Liam Kitching could be nearing a return and summer signing Obbi Oulare is pushing for a start after making his long-awaited debut off the bench against Middlesbrough.

Romal Palmer could earn a recall after dropping out of the side in midweek, but he is one yellow card away from incurring a one-match suspension.

Morgan Gibbs-White is suspended for Sheffield United after his red card against Millwall on Tuesday.

Conor Hourihane went off injured in the first half in midweek so is likely to be out, but George Baldock is available again after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Those absences could present opportunities for Oliver Norwood and Iliman Ndiaye to return to the starting lineup.

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Collins; Hondermarck, Helik, Moon; Brittain, Palmer, Styles, J. Williams; Woodrow, Oulare, Oduor

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Baldock, Egan, Davies, Stevens; Norwood, Fleck; McGoldrick, Ndiaye, Osborn; Sharp

We say: Barnsley 0-1 Sheffield United

Barnsley's confidence is at rock bottom and their struggles in front of goal are a huge concern. A derby atmosphere at Oakwell may help the Tykes, but we still think Sheffield United will claim victory and perhaps hand Schopp his P45 in the process.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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