After an impressive campaign last year in the EFL Championship, a campaign which saw them finish fifth and narrowly miss out on promotion via a semi-final defeat against Swansea, Barnsley are in dire straits right now. Before the start of the season, Barnsley fans were hopeful that their team would be able to replicate last year’s result, that hope is slowly starting to fade away as they are placed near the bottom of the Championship table in 23rd spot and in the relegation zone. They remain winless in their last 12 games with just one win, five draws and eight losses to their name. Barnsley’s negative goal difference of -11 further highlights their troubles.
With pressure mounting on Markus Schopp, Barnsley need to produce a string of decent results if they are to survive relegation let alone challenge for the play-off spot. It hasn’t helped that they have had to contend with several injuries and illnesses to their important starting eleven players. Furthermore, they have found the target just nine times in their 14 games in the Championship so far. In their previous game in the league against Sheffield United, the Tykes fell to a 3-2 defeat at home. After the frantic first half where both teams failed to take a shot on target, the Blades made sure that they come out on top at the final whistle.
Let’s analyse some stats to understand where has it gone wrong for Barnsley and if they can survive in the Championship this season.
Both teams were at level pegging at the end of the first half, although Barnsley were more threatening towards the end. Styles delivered a low cross into the opponent box which was struck towards the target by Adeboyejo but Robin Olson managed to keep the effort out of the goal. The match came alive six minutes into the second half when Mousset gave Sheffield United the advantage in the 50th minute. Two minutes later Mousset doubled his tally when he scored in the 52nd minute. Ben Osborn added another in an effort to take the game out of Barnsley’s reach. While the Tykes managed to reduce the advantage by two, they still fell short. Mousset had the highest xG in the match, 0.91. In the above chart we can see that the Tykes fared better than their opponents in multiple attacking metrics but ultimately were unable to grab a point from the game.
Barnsley took a total of 11 shots with just two shots on target. Their shots on target accuracy was 18.18% which highlights their inability to find the target despite creating goal-scoring chances in the match. In contrast, the Blades were more accurate with their shots, managing to convert chances into goals thrice.
Barnsley rank near the bottom in terms of xG and xG per 90. The only team below them is Hull City. This further indicates Barnsley’s inability to create many clear goal-scoring opportunities.
On a slightly brighter side, Barnsley are ranked 10th in terms of successful passes into the final third and eighth in terms of successful passes into the final third per 90. This suggests that they are looking to play forward when the opportunity arises. Although have a lot of work to do on their end product.
Although the signs are not that great for Barnsley, they could use the next few games as a base to bounce back. The Tykes need to rally up in their next few games if they are to survive in the Championship. Barnsley’s upcoming games in the Championship are against sides whose form mirror their own. Schopp and his men will travel to Bristol City next followed by a home game against Derby County.