Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Barnsley
The 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship season gets underway on Saturday, August 7th, with Barnsley visiting Cardiff City Stadium for our campaign curtain-raiser.
Tickets on sale now!
We are delighted to announce that match tickets for our opening-day clash with Barnsley are available to purchase here.
We can confirm that in line with Welsh Government approvals, the Club will be operating at alert level zero. Supporters attending games will routinely be sat without social distancing measures in place, and while we recommend face masks to be worn, this is not compulsory except when entering the Ticket Office, Superstore or queuing at internal kiosks and toilets.
Listen live on Cardiff City TV!
In respect of domestic streaming, the EFL will return to the position as was prior to the pandemic when the live broadcast or streaming of any match in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is prohibited between the hours of 2:45pm-5:15pm on Saturday afternoons.
However, supporters in the UK and abroad can purchase a Monthly Audio Pass to listen in for just £5! For audio throughout the season, purchase an Audio Only Season Pass for £45!
Overseas supporters can buy an International Season Pass for £140 or watch City’s clash with Barnsley live on Cardiff City TV by grabbing an International Match Pass for just £10!
The Bluebird | Cardiff City vs. Barnsley
The Bluebird - official matchday programme is back for the 2021/22 season, with 68 pages of excellent content for you to consume!
Physical copies of The Bluebird will be available to purchase from selected programme booths and retail departments around CCS. Supporters are back with us at home - make sure you pick up this piece of history!
Programmes will be £3.50 and can be purchased from selected programme booths and retail departments. Card only.
Opposition Focus: The boss
Markus Schopp arrived at Oakwell at the end of June to replace Valérien Ismaël, who had departed for West Bromwich Albion five days earlier. The Austrian spent the majority of his playing days in his native country, having made his debut for his hometown club, SK Sturm Graz, in 1991. After a brief stint with Hamburg, Schopp returned to Sturm Graz in 1998, making another 100 appearances for the club in the Austrian Bundesliga.
Later in his career, the midfielder moved to Italy with Brescia, where he played alongside the likes of Roberto Baggio and Pep Guardiola – Schopp was reunited with the Manchester City boss when his Barnsley side faced the Premier League champions in a recent friendly. Having also featured on 56 occasions for the Austrian national team, Schopp retired at the age of 33 after brief stints with FC Red Bull Salzburg and New York Red Bulls.
The Austrian began his coaching career at his former club Sturm Graz, coaching the club’s reserve team with a brief period as interim head coach in 2013. Schopp was given his full managerial debut by TSV Hartberg in 2018, a side who had just been promoted to the Austrian Bundesliga. In his three full seasons with the club, he helped the team to record 9th, 6th, and 7th placed finishes, leading them into the UEFA Europa League for the very first time.
Opposition Focus: Pre-season report
After an excellent run of form last season saw them reach the Play-Off Semi Finals, there were plenty of summer suitors for several key figures at Oakwell. After ex-boss Ismaël departed for the Hawthorns, he was joined by two members of his backroom staff, along with Tykes captain Alex Mowatt; a major blow to Barnsley’s hopes of launching another push for promotion this time around.
However, under new boss Schopp, the Tykes have enjoyed a successful pre-season schedule, winning two, drawing one and losing one of their four friendly fixtures. The new Barnsley boss began his tenure with a pair of wins on the road, as his side dispatched Rochdale 2-1 on July 14th before emerging victorious over Sheffield Wednesday three days later, recording a 2-0 triumph at Hillsborough.
With a planned match against Watford being cancelled at short notice, Barnsley continued their pre-season preparations with a goalless draw against League One newcomers Morecambe, before facing Manchester City at the training ground of the UEFA Champions League finalists. A strong City side produced a fine display to record a 4-0 victory, with goals from the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Nathan Aké condemning Barnsley to defeat.
Opposition Focus: Summer signings
Devante Cole joined the Tykes on a permanent deal following the expiration of his contract at Motherwell. The son of former Manchester United and England striker Andy, Cole previously spent time on Oakwell during the 2014/15 campaign, netting seven goals during 23 loan appearances. In recent seasons, the forward has featured for the likes of Wigan Athletic, Burton Albion and Doncaster Rovers, but flourished in the Scottish Premiership last term, scoring 11 goals in 27 outings for the Well.
Josh Benson made the short journey from Lancashire to Yorkshire this summer, signing for Barnsley from Premier League side Burnley. The 21-year-old came through the youth ranks at Arsenal before moving to Turf Moor in 2018, and featured on 12 occasions for Sean Dyche’s side last season, including six appearances in the top flight. A central midfielder, Benson also had experience of playing in the EFL thanks to a brief loan spell at Grimsby Town in 2020. He joins Barnsley on a four-year deal.
Aaron Leya Iseka became Barnsley’s newest recruit on August 2nd, signing a four-year deal at Oakwell. The Belgian U21 international, who is the brother of Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi, signed for the Tykes from French side Toulouse. Iseka spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan in Ligue 1 with FC Metz, scoring four goals for Les Grenats, and also possesses experience of scoring in the UEFA Europa League, having netted a famous winner over Lazio during his time with Zulte Waregem.