Match Preview | Barnsley vs. Cardiff City
Mick McCarthy’s first match as Cardiff City boss takes place January 27th, with the Bluebirds facing Barnsley at Oakwell. McCarthy’s men will meet the Tykes on Wednesday evening, with a 7pm kick-off in South Yorkshire.
How do I watch the match?
The only place to watch this game is on Cardiff City TV!
This fixture will not be available to watch on Sky Sports’ red button service.
Cardiff City TV's broadcast includes a pre-match show ahead of a multi-camera production, with commentary and replays.
A Cardiff City TV Match Pass can be purchased now for just £10 in the UK & Ireland. International Match Passes are available for just £7 per game, or £20 a month.
Supporters in the UK & Ireland can also purchase a Commentary Pass for £5 a month, or for just £25 for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign.
Mick pre-Barnsley | We’ll need a powerful performance
New Bluebirds boss Mick McCarthy spoke to the press and media ahead of his debut in the dugout, relishing the upcoming clash against his hometown club.
“Barnsley will be a real test for us. It’s my hometown and I love the place, but I want to go back there and win, believe me.
“Training has been excellent, and I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s playing games and getting points that will determine the reaction and how good it’s been.
“We’ve got to start getting results, and if we do that, I do believe we’ve got the quality in the team, once we’ve got that confidence.”
Opposition Focus: Season so far
After a worrying start to the season, the arrival of manager Valérien Ismaël has helped the Tykes move away from the drop zone and into mid-table. Barnsley currently sit in 12th position with 34 points from their 25 Championship matches, 14 clear of 22nd place Rotherham United. A shift to Ismaël’s preferred 3-4-3 formation has helped the Tykes rise up the league table and towards possible Play-Off contention; they are currently eight points away from the top six.
Barnsley’s impressive recovery has been largely down to a run of form between October 27th and December 26th, which saw the Tykes win nine of their 15 league fixtures. During December, Ismaël’s men won four and lost one of their five fixtures, which helped them reach eighth position in the Championship table. Remarkably, all six of Barnsley’s most recent league wins have ended with a scoreline of 2-1.
However, the Tykes have not tasted success in the division since a victory over Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day, and come into this fixture on the back of three consecutive league losses. Barnsley have suffered three defeats in 2021, falling 1-0 to Norwich City, 2-0 against Swansea City and 1-0 at Watford last time out. However, Ismaël’s men did make safe passage into the Fifth Round of the Emirates FA Cup on the weekend, avenging their league defeat against Norwich with a 1-0 home victory over the Canaries.
Opposition Focus: Winter window
There has been plenty of January activity at Oakwell, with two arrivals and five first-team departures so far this month. Barnsley boss Ismaël has strengthened at both ends of the pitch, adding a defender and an attacker to his squad. On January 5th, centre-back Liam Kitching signed for the Tykes, agreeing a four-year deal from League Two promotion hopefuls Forest Green Rovers.
The next day, Barnsley announced the capture of Carlton Morris on a permanent deal; the striker was previously on loan at MK Dons from Norwich City, where he had netted on three occasions.
Two players have left the club on temporary loan deals, both heading to League One in search of regular football. Angola winger Elliot Simões joined Doncaster Rovers on January 6th, whilst midfielder Luke Thomas signed for Ipswich Town. Two men have also made permanent exits from Oakwell in the past month; neither Jordan Green nor Mike-Steven Bähre had featured for the Tykes this term, and both left the club by mutual consent. Barnsley will also be without Matty James for the remainder of the season, with the midfielder signing for Coventry City upon the expiration of his loan deal at Oakwell.
Opposition Focus: Ones to watch
Cauley Woodrow has enjoyed another prolific campaign at Oakwell, and leads the way for the club with ten goals in all competitions this term. Now in his third season with the Tykes, the striker looks set to beat his 2019/20 tally of 14 Championship strikes, and has also recorded five assists from his 26 appearances during the campaign. Having netted against Rotherham United on December 29th, Woodrow will be looking to get off the mark for 2021 on Wednesday evening.
Callum Styles broke into the Barnsley side after last season’s summer restart, and has retained his place in the starting eleven throughout the current campaign. The 20-year-old, who operates on the left-hand side of Ismaël’s 3-4-3 system, has featured in 21 of the Tykes’ 25 league fixtures, and has popped up with four goals and two assists in all competitions, including the decisive strike during the weekend’s 1-0 FA Cup victory over Norwich City.
Michał Helik has made a fine start to life in South Yorkshire since his September transfer from KS Cracovia in his native Poland. Comfortable as part of Barnsley’s trio of central defenders, Helik has become well accustomed to life at Oakwell, missing just three Championship games all season. The 25-year-old also adds an aerial threat in front of goal, having netted four goals in all competitions – including a match winning brace against Huddersfield on Boxing Day.