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Barnsley vs Bradford Predictions

  • 15:00
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  • Oakwell

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      Tip Reasoning

      Barnsley did lose in the FA Cup last weekend, but there’s no shame in narrowly losing out to a Premier League club, while their league form remains pleasing. The Tykes are now unbeaten in five in League One, four of which they’ve won. Daniel Stendel’s men are thus likely to approach this game in high spirits, though much of the same can be said for Bradford, who’ve also won four of their last five in the league.

      The Tykes may not have registered a win last time out in League One, but what they did do was become the first team to prevent a menacing Luton side from finding the net at Kenilworth Road. Both keeping a clean sheet and drawing away against one of the fiercest attacks in the division is not to be taken lightly. Barnsley may not be as high up the table as many thought they would be by now, but the way in which they nullified the Hatters on New Year’s Day shows that they remain one of the best sides in the division.

      What’s more, Barnsley have delivered a string of impressive performances at home of late. The way in which they kept a good Charlton side quiet when taking all three points between Christmas and New Year’s Day was eye-catching, while they made light work of brushing aside an attacking Peterborough side at this venue on Boxing Day. Stendel’s men are tough to stop on home soil, while they’re also tough to create against. They’re averaging 1.68 expected goals for at home and are giving up an average of just 0.82.

      Keeping teams quiet is certainly not something that Bradford have done on their travels this season. The Bantams did keep a clean sheet when running riot at Spotland last time out in League One, but to say that they were aided by Rochdale not turning up would be an understatement. Prior to that victory, Bradford had shut their opponents out in just two of their 12 away games, while they’ve conceded a staggering average of 2.3 expected goals away from home this season, which means that they currently boast an expected goal difference of -0.96.

      Furthermore, Bradford have struggled to cope with the better attacking teams away from home, as they’ve lost away against Doncaster, Luton and Sunderland, conceding a total of seven goals. Against those three opponents, whose attacking prowess is not dissimilar to Barnsley’s, Bradford shipped expected goals figures of 2.17, 2.76 and 1.67. Such number don’t bode well ahead of an away match against the Tykes.

      On paper, this is a big opportunity for Barnsley to bounce back after last weekend’s FA Cup disappointment and they’re expected to grab it with both hands. Bradford have improved of late, but they lack the defensive nous to handle a Barnsley side that has overpowered some good teams at home in recent weeks. With the hosts averaging 1.68 expected goals for at home and Bradford shipping an average of 2.3 on the road, ‘Barnsley to Win & Over 2.5 Goals’ stands out as a viable option.

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