BARNSLEY will look for their first away win of the season and their first victory under Poya Asbaghi when they visit the Championship’s form team Blackburn Rovers tonight from 7.45pm.
The Reds have not won any of their 11 away games this season, with four draws and seven defeats. The last time they didn’t win in the first 12 away league games of a campaign was in 2001/02 when they were relegated out of the second tier. The last time they went winless in this many away league games at any point in a season was a 16-game run in 2007/08. No other side in the Championship have failed to win on their travels this season.
Blackburn are third, three points off the automatic promotion places, four off top, and seven clear in the play-offs.
They are the form team of the Championship having won five in a row with five clean sheets. They won 4-0 at home to Birmingham last week, a fourth successive home win since a 7-0 loss there to Fulham on November 3. That is their only loss at Ewood Park in 11 games since August, with eight wins.
They have the most points and goals at home of any team in the division and are the second highest scorers, home or away. They have also conceded the second most at home, with seven of the 16 being let in in that Fulham game.
Both sides had their Boxing Day games called off due to Covid-19 cases in their opponents' squads.
Asbaghi said: “We have to respect that they are on good form, and they have shown they are really dangerous in the counter-attack so stopping that is an important weapon for us. The second part will be to do the things offensively that we know that we can do. We have to be better in counter-attacking.
“We have to be better from set pieces.
“We need, against a team like Blackburn, not only to take away their strengths but show our quality. If we do that, we can win this game.”
Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has faced Barnsley 18 times – more than any other club – winning seven and losing eight. Former Barnsley loanee Joe Rothwell has been an ever-present in their midfield this season, with seven assists. Their dangerman is Chile striker Ben Brereton who has 19 goals in 23 games. Defender Liam Kitching added: “They are doing well. It’s going to be a tough game, but any game in this league’s a tough game. We just competed with West Brom so I am sure we can compete with them. I love playing against the big players, seeing how good I really am and testing myself.”
Blackburn drew 0-0 at Oakwell in September. The clubs have met 68 times, with Rovers winning 31 and losing 15.
The Reds have lost five of their last six visits to Ewood Park, the exception being a 2-0 win in April 2017 thanks to goals in the first ten minutes by Marc Roberts and Marley Watkins.
Last season, they went 2-0 down under Valerien Ismael before Romal Palmer’s late consolation strike.