The Tykes travel to Northampton this weekend, where they will be the favourites to claim all three points. Both sides are at the opposite end of the table and will be desperate to win the tie.
The Cobblers achieved promotion to League One last season and If league standings was based on performances and not points, they would be much further up the table. Each game has been tightly contested and fine margins have had a huge say on the outcome. Apart from the 2-2 home draw versus Lincoln, every game has either been won or lost by one goal. A 1-0 scoreline has occurred in five of the seven matches, which clearly highlights that defensively they are solid, but in attack, they can definitely improve.
A positive for Northampton is that last season’s top scorer has continued to score this time around. Sam Hoskins has netted three times in the opening seven games and his influence in the attacking third will be the difference once again this campaign. The winger could have added to his tally last time out in the 1-0 defeat to Port Vale, however he was unable to finish a chance that he should really be scoring.
Barnsley will be hopeful that by the end of the season, they will be challenging for a place in the Championship. The Tykes started the season with an unbelievable 7-0 victory over Port Vale and that dramatic scoreline may have created a hint of complacency going into the next three matches, as they were unable to pick up another three points until gameweek five against Wigan. Barnsley have been able to blow away opponents that they should be beating, but when they face a side that opposes much more of a challenge, they seme to struggle at the back.
We saw this occur on Tuesday evening, as they lost 3-2 at home to Portsmouth. The visitors remarkably scored twice in the 8th minute which highlights the fact that Barnsley tend to experience a lapse of concentration. By the 16th minute, Portsmouth added the third and went into the break with a comfortable lead. The Tykes did bounce back in the second half and scored twice, with the reaction surely pleasing Neil Collins to an extent.
Barnsley have shown that they can score goals this season and I don’t expect Northampton to feature in their sixth 1-0 tie this weekend. The fact that the Cobblers struggle in front of goal leads me to believe that the visitors will just edge the tie.
The final prediction is Northampton 0-2 Barnsley.