GW 43 – Ones to Watch
Ally: As the season comes to an end I generally try to pick teams who still have something to play for, as they are less likely to rest players. One such team is League One side Barnsley, who are seeking automatic promotion to the Championship. They currently occupy second place, two points ahead of Portsmouth who crucially have a game in hand. The Tykes’ destiny isn’t in their hands because if Pompey win all their remaining games they will leapfrog them and secure promotion, but Barnsley have to apply as much pressure as possible which surely means winning both of their remaining games. Today’s visitors to Oakwell are ninth placed Blackpool, who effectively have nothing to play for as the play-offs are now out of reach. Barnsley have won their last 3 matches and are generally pretty reliable scorers, and while the Seasiders kept a clean sheet in their last away match at relegation threatened Scunthorpe, today’s opposition is likely to provide a much sterner test.
Up in the Championship, another team who still have an outside chance of reaching the play offs are in form Swansea City. They are currently 5 points adrift of Derby who occupy the final spot, but with 9 points still to play for they have to believe they can still make it with a bit of luck. Today’s visitors to the Liberty Stadium are Hull City, who have nothing to play for, and manager Nigel Adkins may well choose to blood a few youngsters or fringe players which could play right into the confident Swans’ hands, as they have won their previous 4 home league games, scoring at least 3 goals in each match.
Good luck with your selections!