With all due respect, Brentford taking on Barnsley hardly gets the pulses racing. Brentford, for all that they’re up against in terms of fellow London clubs, have a niche support and have honestly gone about their business relatively admirably.
They have a way of playing. They’ve established an almost Bournemouth-esque aura about themselves. But it’s come to very little when compared to the end goal of reaching the Premier League. Barnsley, meanwhile, haven’t had an interesting season in football since they were last relegated from the Premier League in 1998. Honestly, it seems as if Barnsley have been forever floating between five places in the football league ladder.
Hang on, was I meant to hype this one up? Ah well. The point is there’s still money to be made.
If there’s one positive for Barnsley in this, it’s that they can at least find the net at home. They’re the only team in the football league who haven’t scored away from home yet, and Oakwell will be a welcome sight for the Yorkshiremen as they go into another game where they’re underdogs.
Some teams thrive off it, but there honestly isn’t a whole lot of quality on display to make that cliché into actuality. I’ve no doubt that their mentality does change in games at home, though – and if for nothing else, they’ll give it a go for 90 minutes, unlike when they’re on their travels. I’m trying, Barnsley – I’m sorry.
I have to say, for all my slight digs at them, they’ve been somewhat unlucky in a very broad sense. Only one other side in the Championship have converted fewer of their chances than Barnsley this season, which is on full display when you see their 0.5 goals per game (against a 1.2 average) is nearly a full goal per game under the xG.
The problem for them is, their opposition have been in position to score 2.03 goals per game at this point, converting below that number too (1.5). You feel that there’s a goal-fest in waiting, and the early kickoff might be the catalyst.
Remember I alluded to the point that only one other team had converted fewer of their chances this season in the Championship than Barnsley?
Yep, Brentford. Astonishingly, they’ve been in position to net 1.65 goals per game, but have managed just 0.6 goals per game, which is exactly half of the league average.
They’re one of the teams that utilise the counter-attack most in the Championship, and Barnsley’s rear-guard combined with some probability means that their time is coming. This one sets up perfectly for them.
Canos is the type of player that a promoted club to the Premier League should be taking a chance on. But Brentford are strange away from home. They nearly play more in advanced areas, making them susceptible to conceding.
It does seem to be that way for the season, too – however, Barnsley won’t cause sleepless nights in the lead-up. Canos is the one player in these team who can suck defenders into tight spaces before going on a mazy run over 40 yards. This game is set up for him.