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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V BARNSLEY

7 May 2016

Learn more about Barnsley and Sky Bet League One’s final day permutations ahead of the final day of the 2015-16 campaign on Sunday, with Latics set to lift the Sky Bet League One title.

  • Latics host Barnsley on Sunday 8 May, kick-off 12.30pm.
  • Paul Heckingbottom’s Tykes chasing a play-off spot on the final day and will be back by over 4,500 travelling supporters.
  • Find out all the other permutations in Sky Bet League One.
Sky Bet League One
Wigan Athletic v Barnsley
Sunday 8 May, kick off 12.30pm
DW Stadium

PREVIEW

Latics host Barnsley at the DW Stadium on Sunday to bring the curtain down on a memorable campaign that has seen Gary Caldwell’s side secure a return to the Sky Bet Championship as well as the League One title.

Although the latter is not officially confirmed, it would take an unprecedented series of scores to see Latics not lift their third divisional title since joining the Football League in 1978.

First, Latics would have to lose to Barnsley at the DW Stadium, whilst Burton Albion would have to win at Doncaster Rovers and in the process make up a 20 goals on Caldwell’s side to secure the title on goal difference. In a season in which Leicester City have won the Premier League, we’re reminded anything can  happen in football, but the Brewers will themselves will also be far from gung-ho in their approach with the three points precious to their bid for automatic promotion alongside Latics.

Sunday’s visitors to the DW are a Barnsley side who have produced the most remarkable of turnarounds since Christmas. Under then manager Lee  Johnson, the Tykes produced seven consecutive league wins between 28 December and 7 February to move themselves from the relegation zone to within touching distance of the play-offs. Since Johnson’s departure to Bristol City and Paul Heckingbottom’s installation as manager, Barnsley have only gone from strength-to-strength and head into Sunday’s game knowing a win will secure a top six spot.

SKY BET LEAGUE ONE PERMUTATIONS

Promotion


With Latics already up and all-but confirmed as Champions, the big question in League One on Sunday will be who will be joining Caldwell’s side in the Championship next season.

The answer rests in the Midlands as only Burton Albion or Walsall can fill that second spot on the final day.

It’s in the hands of Nigel Clough’s Brewers, though, who only have to avoid defeat against Doncaster Rovers to secure promotion.

Walsall, who travel to Port Vale, can only win their game and hope Burton lose at the Keepmoat Stadium.

A single-goal win and single-goal defeat combination won’t be enough for the Saddlers, though, as at least one of the results will have to be decided by two goals or more for Jon Whitney’s side to edge out Burton on goal difference.

Play-Offs


With Millwall, Bradford City and either Walsall or Burton secured of a play-off place, only one spot in the top six remains to be decided.

Barnsley are in pole position; the Tykes have a better goal difference that Scunthorpe United who are also on 71 points whilst Gillingham, back on 69 points, have the most superior goal difference.

The permutations are simple for Barnsley: if they win, and Scunthorpe fail to beat Sheffield United at Bramall Lane by a score-line three goals grander than the Tykes, then Heckingbottom’s side will make the play-offs.

If Scunthorpe better Barnsley’s result, they will go up, though a draw for the Iron and the Tykes failing to win would open the door for Gillingham if they beat Millwall at home.

The only was Justin Edinburgh’s side will win promotion is with victory and both Scunthorpe and Barnsley failing to win.

Relegation


Crewe Alexandra and Colchester United are already relegated and Doncaster Rovers, who face promotion chasing Burton at home, would require an extraordinary amount of fortune to survive.

First Darren Ferguson’s side would have to beat the Brewers, then they would have to hope Blackpool fail to win at Peterborough whilst Fleetwood Town lose at home to Crewe.

If all of that happens, Doncaster would then have to make up a ten-goal swing.

The final spot for relegation will go to either Fleetwood or Blackpool, with the Cod Army requiring only a draw from their game with Crewe to survive due to their better goal difference.

Blackpool’s only hope rests on them winning their game and seeing Fleetwood lose at Highbury.

BARNSLEY IN 2015/16 SO FAR

Position: 6th
Last six (league): LWDWDD
Biggest win: 6-1 v Rochdale (H)
Biggest defeat: 3-0 v Rochdale (A)
Home record: W11 D4 L8
Away record: W 10 D4 L8
Goals scored: 66 (35H + 31A)
Goals conceded: 53 (24H + 29A)
Leading goal-scorer: Sam Winnall (20)

TEAM NEWS

For Latics, only Reece James and Jordan Flores remain on the injury list.

Barnsley remain doubtful of James Bree and George Smith for the tie, though Paul Heckingbottom is more confident on Aidy White’s involvement at the DW.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Latics have never lost a league game to Barnsley in the previous seven meetings with five wins and two draws.

However, in four cup meetings Latics have never progressed, winning one leg in the League Cup in 1990/91 before exiting on penalties and then losing out in the 1955 FA Cup and this season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

You can read more about our head-to-head with the Tykes in Sunday’s match programme as BBC Radio Manchester’s Paul Rowley goes in depth into our previous meetings.


IN REVERSE



Goals from Andy Kellett and Yanic Wildschut secured a 2-0 win at Oakwell in December.

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