An in-depth look into Barnsley's home game with Plymouth.


James Norwood v Callum Burton

Plymouth’s star goalkeeper Michael Cooper – considered one of the best in the lower leagues – suffered a season-ending injury in a loss at Sheffield Wednesday last month after a controversial challenge by Josh Windass.

He was replaced by Burton, 26, who had only played once at this level before this season.

He shipped five goals at Peterborough last week but has helped them win four of his six games so far.

In front of him will be Macauley Gillesphey who cleared off the line twice in the reverse fixture.

Norwood is on excellent form, chipping in regularly with goals and impressing with his general play.

He and Devante Cole will look to disrupt the Plymouth backline and test Burton.

Mads Andersen v Ryan Hardie

Scottish striker Hardie has 48 goals for Plymouth, following up 19 last season with 13 so far this campaign – making him their top-scorer.

Plymouth could bring off the bench Niall Ennis who has eight goals this season.

Andersen is three games away from equalling Arjan de Zeeuw’s record of most Barnsley appearances by a non-British or Irish player. He is one of the best centre-backs in League One and will need to prove it on Saturday.

Barnsley’s back three looked beatable at times on Tuesday and will need a better all-round performance against Plymouth who will have threats from midfield runners who must be tracked.

Adam Phillips v Finn Azaz

The midfield battle could dictate the game with both sides possessing major goal threats and talents in that area.

Michael Duff said his midfield of Callum Styles, Luca Connell and Josh Benson was ‘too samey’ when they lost at Plymouth on the opening day.

That is different now with Styles out on loan and Benson a substitute when not injured.

Herbie Kane returned to fitness and has had a fine season while Phillips has added attacking thrust and regular long-range goals.

Azaz is someone Barnsley competed to sign last summer before he moved to Plymouth and scored the winner on the opening day, the first of seven goals so far this season.

He is likely to be one of two attacking midfielders alongside either veteran Danny Mayor or Callum Wright who Barnsley also wanted to sign last summer after he excelled for Duff at Cheltenham but he moved to Championship Blackpool then again to Plymouth in January.

Wright equalised against Derby in midweek from an assist by Azaz who then won a disputed penalty for the winner.

Jordan Williams v Bali Mumba

Williams’ most difficult match of the season was probably the opening day fixture in Devon when, still recovering full fitness after injuries, he was given a torrid time by Plymouth debutant Mumba who excelled on the left wing.

Since then, Norwich loanee Mumba has continued to impress for Argyle with five goals and six assists.

Williams has hugely improved and has five goals and five assists himself in the league while he has not struggled defensively like that again.


Chris Errington, Plymouth Live

The Pilgrims’ home form has been outstanding this season, winning 16 of their 18 games and losing just once.

If they can maintain that over the rest of the campaign then they will be very well-positioned to go up to the Championship, which they last played in during the 2009/10 campaign.

Argyle’s final five home league games are against the sides currently 24th, 11th, 23rd, 15th and 19th so it is a favourable run-in for them.

The Pilgrims have a record of six wins, seven draws and four defeats on the road this term and were beaten 5-2 at Peterborough United in their last away game so they will need a much better performance than that one to get a result against a strong in-form Barnsley side.


Reds 1, Pilgrims 1 – October 2, 2018

The Devon club were winless and bottom of League One when they made their most recent trip to Oakwell. Alex Mowatt scored a fine opener in the eighth minute but Ruben Lameiras levelled just before the break while Freddie Ladapo missed a hat-trick of chances.

Reds 1, Pilgrims 3 – February 13, 2010

Plymouth were in their most recent Championship season when they recovered from Hugo Colace’s opener to win. Carl Fletcher and Jamie Mackie put the visitors in front before ex-Red Rory Fallon scored from 35 yards.

Reds 1, Pilgrims 0 – April 3, 2004

Argyle would win the League One title later in the month but were defeated by Paul Hart’s Barnsley. Gary Birch headed in a corner for the only goal.

Reds 1, Pilgrims 0 – March 30, 1991

Steve Agnew netted from the spot after a controversial penalty was awarded when Andy Rammell went tumbling in the visitors’ penalty area.

Reds 4, Pilgrims 1 – April 29, 1950

Jimmy Baxter scored a hat-trick in the first 19 minutes to condemn Plymouth to relegation from Division Two. John Kelly got another goal before the visitors netted a late consolation goal.