BARNSLEY will complete their 2023 fixtures when they visit Peterborough United tonight from 7.45pm.

Posh are second, four points off top and in the automatic promotion spots on goal difference – while they are four points clear of the seventh-placed Reds, who have a game in hand.

Posh are the top-scorers in the division with 45 goals, while they have the third best defensive record with 23 conceded.

They have lost just one of their last 17 league games, winning ten.

They won 2-1 at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, after falling behind in the second half, then drew 2-2 at home to lowly Reading on Boxing Day having led twice. That ended a run of five straight home wins.

Posh have been impressive at London Road this season, winning 12, drawing four and losing just once to Derby in August. They are unbeaten in 14 there in all competitions with ten wins.

But Barnsley have the joint most away points in the division with 24 from 11 games. Head coach Neill Collins told the Chronicle: “I said when we played them in the third game of the season that anyone who finishes ahead of them will be in a good spot. They have been one of the most impressive teams by quite a long way.

“It will be a big test for us but it comes at a good time after a couple of wins.

“We have drastically improved since we last played them but they have improved as well.”

There are currently just five points between second and seventh.

Collins said: “It would be a good statement to win there. It’s not make or break but it would be nice to get three points and look at the league table at the halfway point knowing the boys have done a good job. We were a long way off where we wanted to be in the first four games but, since then, we have been on really consistently good form. If we do that again in the second half of the season we will be a position to be in the play-offs.”

The trip to Cambridgeshire is the first of several successive away games at clubs currently competing with the Reds for the promotion places.

Barnsley visit Stevenage and Oxford within four days next month before travelling to Bolton Wanderers on February 3. Collins said: “Our players have been unbelievable away from home.

“We haven’t played as many teams in the top half but it bodes well for those games because of our away form.

“We know we have those teams to play and it’s a good challenge.”

The Reds have played Peterborough 43 times, winning 17 and losing 20.

Posh won 3-1 at Oakwell in August, going behind early in the second half to Barry Cotter then netting three times between 74 and 85 minutes.

Barnsley won 2-1 on their last trip to London Road in December last year thanks to an early screamer by Luca Connell then an Adam Phillips strike.

Referee Adam Herczeg is due to take charge of a Barnsley match for the first time since he did not send off Burton Albion captain John Brayford, or give a penalty, for a clear handball on the line early in a Good Friday defeat this year.

This is the final game of a year which has seen Collins move from Tampa Bay Rowdies to the Reds.

He said: “It’s a year I will never forget. To move your family across.

“The start of the season for Tampa was really tough but then I left them top of the league. It’s been a tough start at Barnsley and was always going to be after a play-off final defeat. But it’s been a good year and we have a lot to look forward to at this club.”