Championship

Oakwell

Friday 17th December 2021 -  19:45
Barnsley
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West Brom
Key Events

Valérien Ismaël heads back to Barnsley with the Baggies on Friday night (ko 7.45pm), hoping to extend his side’s winning run to three games.

Ismaël left the Reds to become Albion’s head coach in the summer after leading the Oakwell outfit into the Sky Bet Championship play-offs last season.

The Baggies travel up to Yorkshire on the back of two impressive performances and results against Coventry City and Reading respectively.

Barnsley have endured a difficult first half of the campaign and find themselves 23rd in the table, eight points adrift of safety having suffered a 2-1 reverse at Preston on Saturday afternoon.

Former Sweden U21 coach Poya Asbaghi is the man in charge of the Tykes and he’ll be searching for the perfect early Christmas present this weekend – three points against West Bromwich Albion.

Ismael Cardiff
The boss will be hoping to bag another victory at his former club on Friday

How to follow the game

Supporters around the world can enjoy live Baggies-biased commentary from Gez Mulholland and Andy Johnson on WBA TV. Match Passes are available for £2.50 here.

Owing to the match being broadcast live on Sky Sports, a stream will not be available. Seasonal overseas subscribers will only be able to access commentary for this fixture.

Listen live from 7.30pm here

WBA TV Matchday

Opposition 

Barnsley have a battle on their hands to remain in the Sky Bet Championship after what has been a challenging first half to the 2021/22 campaign.

The Tykes head into Friday’s festive fixture sitting 23rd in the table, eight points adrift of safety after 22 matches.

Last season’s play-off semi-finalists appointed former Sweden U21 and IFK Göteborg boss Poya Asbaghi as head coach on the 17th of November, but the 36-year-old is yet to claim his first victory in charge of the Reds.

Barnsley have won just twice in the Sky Bet Championship all season and are winless in their last six matches, with Asbaghi keen to turn their fortunes around. 

Albion's opponents have picked up hard-fought draws against Peterborough and Huddersfield recently, but the Tykes will know it's victories which are needed to claw back ground on the sides above them in the division.

The Tykes will have their sights set on springing a surprise on Friday

Classic clash

Jason Koumas' cracker helped Albion to a point at Oakwell in December 2006.

His thunderous strike put the Baggies ahead, but Paul Hayes equalised five minutes later as the points were shared.

Did you know? 

Albion are winless in their last five matches against the Tykes.

The last three meetings have all ended in draws, with Barnsley winning the two games prior to that.

The Baggies last tasted victory against the Reds in September 2007, winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Filipe Teixeira and Craig Beattie.

Albion drew 1-1 with Barnsley on their last visit to Oakwell in December 2019

Away kit colours

Albion will wear their yellow third kit on Friday night. Order it here

Taylor Gardner-Hickman in our third kit

LV BET's latest odds 

Albion are the favourites at 3/4 (1.75) to beat Barnsley.

Undefeated in their last three games against their upcoming rivals, the Baggies come in at 20/7 (3.85) to win with both teams scoring and at 33/20 (2.65) to win with a clean sheet.

West Bromwich Albion have scored 21 times in their last ten games against The Tykes. We’ve got a 2-0 away win this Friday at 7/1 (8.00), with Karlan Grant leading the LV BET goalscorer market at 3/2 (2.50) to find the back of the net at any time.

Register with LV BET and use the WBAxLVBET code to claim a free £5 Bonus. 18+ begambleaware.org. Terms apply. Odds are subject to change.

LV BET

Additional information

Supporters attending Albion’s Sky Bet Championship fixture at Barnsley on Friday (ko 7.45pm) will be required to present an NHS COVID pass on entering Oakwell. 

The UK Government has introduced measures which require everyone aged 18 and over - at sporting events with crowds of more than 10,000 people - to provide proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test when entering stadia from Wednesday, December 15 onwards. Tests must have been undertaken no more than 48 hours prior to kick-off. 

The legislation means all adults attending fixtures – both at The Hawthorns and at away stadia - will be required to present an NHS COVID pass on entry. Passes will be mandatory for as long as they are a legal requirement. 

Fans are advised to download the NHS mobile app, if they have not already done so, to familiarise themselves with the relevant processes. For more information on the NHS app, click here

In addition, Barnsley have published COVID-19 protocols and a “frequently asked questions” section on their website.

Barnsley COVID Pass

Albion were held to a goalless draw by Barnsley at Oakwell on Friday evening.

Cedric Kipre hit the post early on, while Kyle Bartley and leading talisman Karlan Grant had goal-bound efforts cleared off the line, but they couldn't find a breakthrough in south Yorkshire.

It didn’t take long for the Baggies to make their mark on proceedings and Barnsley’s framework was rattled within the first three minutes, Kipre flicking a header off the post following a clever delivery from former Tyke Alex Mowatt.

The home side did have chances with Callum Brittain curling a shot over and Josh Benson forcing Sam Johnstone into tipping a free-kick over his crossbar, but the visitors enjoyed the better moments as they effectively limited Barnsley's attacking intent.

Brilliant play down the left wing almost allowed Jordan Hugill to convert the opener when Grant found the forward with space to shoot inside the box, but determined defending allowed Barnsley to clear the resulting effort off the line.

Opportunities kept falling Albion's way and it would be a familiar theme throughout.

Darnell Furlong came close to putting Callum Robinson through on goal, Mowatt pulled the strings with a number of splitting passes, and Kyle Bartley almost nodded a corner into the back of the net from a corner.

Once again, though, the hosts were alert and a last-ditch interception on the line helped shutout Valérien Ismaël’s men at the break.

Having come closest to finding the net during the first 45, centre-back Kipre had sight of goal again in the second half - curling a shot around the post after a Furlong throw-in caused panic in the Barnsley box.

Robinson nearly had a one-on-one opportunity during the first period, and he tested Tykes keeper Brad Collins from a tougher angle after the break - receiving the ball inside the box from Grant before seeing a deflected shot palmed away from danger.

But the best chance of the game would, inevitably, fall the way of Albion’s topscorer. Substitute Grady Diangana showed great awareness to slip in Grant, who after taking the ball around keeper Collins, must’ve thought he’d found the net when his shot bounced towards an empty goal.

Unfortunately, more resilient defending saw defender Michal Helik stretch to hook the ball off the line.

Matt Clarke tried to force a header home towards the end of the game, but he couldn't find the net with his attempt, as the Baggies extended their unbeaten run in the Sky Bet Championship to five matches.

Albion: Johnstone; Kipre, Bartley, Clarke; Furlong, Livermore (Molumby 72), Mowatt, Townsend; Robinson (Diangana 72), Hugill (Reach 90+3), Grant.

Substitutes: Button, Ajayi, Gardner-Hickman, Fellows.