Barnsley are expecting Boxing Day hosts Port Vale to be extra motivated to avenge their 7-0 opening day loss at Oakwell. The Reds are seventh, two points outside the play-off places, after winning at home to Stevenage on Saturday.

Neill Collins’ first match in charge saw the Reds inflict a history-making 7-0 defeat on Andy Crosby’s Vale team – with a Devante Cole hat-trick and other goals by Vale defender Dan Jones, Liam Kitching, Jon Russell and Andy Dallas.

Collins told the Chronicle: “I don’t think Andy will need much of a team talk.

“It will be really difficult, there are some similarities to Stevenage but they can also adapt and play good football.

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“They went on a really good run after we beat them, then they have had their ups and downs. But on Boxing Day there will always be strange results.

“The players have done well in these type of games and hopefully it continues.”

Former Barnsley manager David Flitcroft is director of football at the Staffordshire club, while one of their regular defenders is Jesse Debrah who almost joined Barnsley in the summer.

Collins played seven games on loan to Vale from Sheffield United in 2015.

After their opening day humiliation, Vale won eight and drew one of their next nine games in all competitions and briefly overtook the Reds in the table.

But they then tumbled down the table during a 11-game winless league run which brought just three points.

They won 1-0 at Exeter City then 3-2 at home to Wigan. They then netted a late leveller in a 1-1 draw at Wycombe on Saturday which left them 15th, 12 points behind the Reds and eight clear of the relegation zone.

Vale won their first six home games of the season then lost five league games in a row there before beating Wigan.

They then lost 3-0 at home to Middlesbrough in the EFL Cup quarter-final.

This will be the 116th meeting of the clubs with Barnsley winning 48 and losing 47. The Reds won 3-1 at Vale Park last season, with goals by Luca Connell – in the first minute – Kitching and Adam Phillips.

Barnsley have a good recent record on Boxing Day, with no defeats since 2014 at Preston North End – winning three and drawing three while conceding just two goals.