BARNSLEY hope to be free of the ‘baggage’ of their Championship relegation fight when they visit fellow Yorkshire club Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup fourth round today from 3pm.
The Reds reached the last 32 for the third successive year with an extraordinary 5-4 extra-time win over League Two Barrow AFC in the third round on January 8. On the same day, the Terriers won 2-1 at Premier League Burnley.
Barnsley are last in the Championship, winless in 12, while Huddersfield are fifth. Town are on an 11-match unbeaten run, which includes seven wins and started with a 1-1 draw at Oakwell on December 4. They have won six of their last nine.
This week they drew 1-1 at home to Stoke City on Friday evening then won 2-0 at home on Wednesday to Barnsley’s fellow strugglers Derby County, who had a man sent off in the third minute.
Callum Brittain and Aapo Halme are thought to be nearing a return to full fitness after injury.
Victor Adeboyejo and Clarke Oduor have also been out injured, while Matty Wolfe has a minor problem.
Asbaghi said: “The cup lives its own life somehow and we don’t bring the baggage of the Championship to that game. You don’t go into the game with the same pressure as the Championship where we know we have to win games.
“We need to be aware that it’s a tough schedule with a lot of games in a short time and we play Luton pretty close after. We have to have this feeling of rotating some players but putting out a good team that can advance to the next stage. If we win, we won’t get any points but it will give us confidence which might help us win the even league games.”
Huddersfield’s Scott High, who is from Barnsley and started at Penistone Church before joining Huddersfield’s academy, has played 20 league games this season.
Matty Pearson – who spent the 2017/18 season at Oakwell – has played all but two of Huddersfield’s league games.
Barnsley full-back Jordan Williams began his career with Town before moving across Yorkshire in 2018.
In the Oakwell league meeting, Lewis O’Brien put the visitors in front then Carlton Morris levelled just before the break. That meant the Reds were unbeaten in four meetings having won the previous three.
Barnsley have played Huddersfield 77 times, with 29 wins and 32 losses.