Barnsley will hope to beat Lincoln City at the third attempt this season tomorrow when they visit one of the hardest places to win in League One from 7.45pm.
The Reds are fourth, four points off the top two with five games left following a 5-1 win at Forest Green on Saturday.
The Imps are 12th, 15 points away from both the relegation zone and play-offs with 15 points to play for.
Only sides in the bottom six have won fewer games than Lincoln’s 12 wins but only the top three have fewer losses than their ten. They have the most draws in the top four divisions with 19, including 13 at home where their only loss was against Peterborough last month. Only MK Dons and Oxford have fewer than their six home wins.
They had won three of 20 league games but last week they won 2-0 at home to Cheltenham then 2-0 at high-flying Plymouth. They then won 3-2 at home to Port Vale on Saturday.
They are unbeaten in seven meetings with the top four this season, winning Oakwell, Ipswich and Plymouth.
Reds head coach Michael Duff said: “They will be 3-4-3, they will try to play football but they don’t particularly value the ball because they are such a threat on the counter. They will be happy for us to have a lot of the ball.
“They are a threat from set plays as well. It’s up to us to be aware of their threats and try to exposes any weaknesses we think they might have but there aren’t many because there aren’t many spaces to play into.
“They are well-coached, organised and carry a threat. They have won the last three so definitely not on the beach. They have beaten good teams.
“I know they have drawn a lot but they have only lost once at home so it will be tough.
“They won 2-0 at Plymouth who have an amazing home record. They were better than our performance against Plymouth (a 3-0 win last month). They could have won by more.”
This will be the third meeting of the season. Lincoln won 3-0 at Oakwell in the EFL Trophy in August with James Norwood sent off after 23 minutes. They returned in October to win 1-0 in the league.
Duff said: “Their record against the top sides is excellent and the record against us is impeccable. They are 4-0 up against us already. We need to be better than in the first two.”
With a four-point gap to make up on the top two, Duff has said his side will push for win if drawing late on.
“We will go for the win. Draws don’t to us any good. We’re ten points clear of fifth. A draw at Lincoln isn’t the end of the world or a bad result because they are a good team. But we will be going there for three points.”
Ziyad Larkeche came off on Saturday with cramp, but Duff said he should be fit to play at Lincoln. The Frenchman is playing at left wing-back with Nicky Cadden suspended.
“He hasn't played a lot because the team has been going well and so has Cads. But he’s earned his chance. We believe he’s a good player. He did well on Saturday, we won 5-1, and his last game was 4-0 away from home at Cheltenham. He’s stepped up to the mark.”
The two clubs have met 72 times, with Barnsley winning 33 and losing 25.
The Reds have not visited Lincoln for a league game since 1975.
In the almost half a century since, they have played League Cup ties there in 1979, 1999 and 2009. Daniel Bogdanovic got the only goal on the last trip there.
Centre-back Adam Jackson – who played 44 games for Barnsley between 2016 and 2019 – is a regular in Lincoln’s defence.
Scottish midfielder Ethan Erhahon, who spent the first half of 2020 on loan to Barnsley as a teenager without playing a first team game, joined the Imps in January from St Mirren. He has been a regular starter.