Everything you need to know as Barnsley look to continue their impressive start to the campaign at the home of Walter Zenga’s much-changed Wolves side.
Having made their best start to a second-tier season since their 1996/97 promotion-winning campaign, Paul Heckingbottom’s team make the trip to a venue where they have been defeated upon each of their last 7 visits, and are without a win in 13 league trips.
Barnsley’s fantastic 2016 continued on Saturday as Newcastle United loanee Adam Armstrong’s terrific debut goal ensured that his new club left Preston North End’s Deepdale home with all three points. Having stormed to promotion from League One by following a run of 16 wins from their final 24 league games by vanquishing Walsall and Millwall in the play-offs, the Tykes find themselves flying high in third place a month into their second-tier return, adding a host of new faces to a vibrant young squad whilst continuing to carry forward the momentum of their terrific 2015/16 campaign. Their opponents on Tuesday night, Wolverhampton Wanderers, were left frustrated by a late Burton Albion equaliser in their last fixture, but are still yet to lose at Molineux since February, and have lost just one of the eight matches overseen by Walter Zenga following his appointment just six weeks ago. Having promised to rotate his squad regularly, Zenga will be hoping for an improvement on Saturday’s disjointed performance as Wolves look to maintain their fine recent record against the Reds.
Having made seven changes for Saturday’s draw with the Brewers, Zenga has a wealth of options at his disposal, with Ola John, Silvio and Romain Saiss all yet to feature since their moves from Benfica, Atletico Madrid, and Angers respectively. All are available for the visit of the in-form Tykes, with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson also likely to return to the starting line-up following a positive substitute performance on Saturday, and the likes of Jack Price and Dominic Iorfa hoping for recalls after being dropped by Zenga for the visit of the Brewers. New signings Ivan Cavaleiro, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Prince Oniangue all impressed on their home debuts and should retain their place, though with a squad of 28 senior players available to the legendary Italian, Zenga’s team selection always has the potential to provide a surprise or two.
Adam Armstrong could be rewarded for his fantastic debut goal by being handed his first start for the club, while Celtic loanee Saidy Janko and former Middlesbrough man Adam Jackson are yet to make their Barnsley bows and could both be involved. Winger Ryan Kent, on loan from Liverpool, is also in contention despite being troubled by an ankle problem after making his debut from the bench on Saturday, but defender James Bree remains sidelined.
- Wolves are unbeaten in their last 13 home league meetings with Barnsley, winning the last 7.
- Barnsley have lost 24 second-tier games at Molineux. Only Leicester City and Bristol City have lost more.
- Wolves are unbeaten in their last 12 home games in all competitions, with Burton Albion’s 94-minute equaliser on Saturday being the only goal they have conceded from open play at home since February.
- Barnsley have made their best start to a second-tier campaign since 1996/97, when they claimed 15 points from their opening 6 fixtures and went on to win promotion to the Premier League.
- Barnsley have claimed 62 league points in 2016, more than any other side to have played in the Championship during that time.
Andrew Madley, older brother of Premier League official Bobby Madley, takes charge of the encounter, having issued 20 yellow cards in his 4 Championship fixtures so far this term.
Sky Bet make the hosts 17/20 favourites to claim three points, with Barnsley 3/1 and the draw 13/5. Barnsley forward Sam Winnall, released by Wolves in 2013 after making just one first team appearance, is 2/1 to net in 90 minutes at his former home, with Wolves’ Icelandic international Jon Dadi Bodvarsson 5/1 to open the scoring, and new teammate Paul Gladon available at the same odds following an unremarkable debut against Burton. Wolves will be smarting after Will Miller’s late intervention on Saturday afternoon, and the 25/1 bet for Bodvarsson to net first in a 2-1 home win could prove to be excellent value should the striker be recalled by Zenga.