Barnsley versus Leeds United: Everything you need to know ahead of Sunday's game

Leeds United fans at a previous encounter with their near neighbours Barnsley (Pic: Getty)
Leeds United fans at a previous encounter with their near neighbours Barnsley (Pic: Getty)
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The international break is over and Leeds United finally return to Championship action tomorrow at Barnsley.

Below, Ethan Davies takes an in-depth look at the Tykes.

Key players

Cauley Woodrow has scored one goal so far this season – making him Barnsley’s joint-leading goalscorer – but scored 16 times in the Tykes’ promotion push last season, representing 20 per cent of their total goal-haul. Liam Cooper and Ben White will have to be wary of the threat he brings outside of the penalty area, with his single goal for this campaign coming against Charlton. That was a sublime volley from just outside the box, giving Charlton goalkeeper Dillon Phillips no chance.

The Oakwell side’s promotion was built on the back the meanest defence in the division - conceding only 39 goals across the 46-match campaign. Dimitri Cavaré was central to that effort, and was named in the PFA League One Team of the Season. Also named in that team was ex-Leeds midfielder Alex Mowatt – who made 51 appearances and scored eight goals in that campaign.

Ex-Leeds players now at Barnsley

Barnsley currently have four ex-Leeds players in their ranks, with defender Aapo Halme, midfielder Alex Mowatt, winger Clarke Odour, and forward Mallik Wilks now on their books.

Mowatt will be the most recognisable name to Leeds fans, scoring 13 times in his 93 appearances - including a memorable long-range effort against local rivals Huddersfield in 2015. Mowatt made the switch to Barnsley in January 2017, and then spent 2017-18 on loan at Oxford United, making 24 appearances.

Whilst Odour has yet to make his debut for Barnsley, both Halme and Wilks have – Wilks grabbed the Oakwell outfit’s only goal against Luton Town, but has been shown the yellow card four times in seven games already this season. Halme made his debut in the 3-0 drubbing by Carlisle United in the Carabao Cup, but kept a clean sheet in their last match, a goalless draw at Wigan Athletic.

The Manager: Daniel Stendel

The German is now in his second season at Oakwell, having been appointed in summer 2018 - the same time as Leeds’ head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Like Bielsa, Stendel prefers fast-paced, high-energy attacking football, which saw his first season in charge lead to promotion from League One with a 91-point-haul, three points behind winners Luton Town.

Stendel spent all of his playing career in Germany, and retired with Hannover 96 B team – where he began his managerial career in 2007 as assistant. He worked between the second team and Hannover’s youth teams for five seasons, before being made caretaker manager of the Hannover first team in April 2016, and was made permanent boss that summer. He held that position until March 2017, recording an average of 1.86 points per game (ppg).

He has a very similar record at Barnsley – 1.82ppg – but over more than double the number of fixtures. By comparison, Marcelo Bielsa has an average of 1.78ppg in his time at Leeds United, albeit recorded at a higher level of football.

Form

Last five league games: LDLLD

Despite making a bright start to the season, beating relegated Fulham 1-0 on the opening day, Barnsley haven’t won in their past five league games, scoring only three goals, and conceding nine. This season has also seen the Tykes suffer ignominy of a 3-0 home loss to League Two Carlisle in the League Cup.

Last time out, Barnsley held Wigan Athletic to a 0-0 draw at the DW Stadium. Their most recent game at Oakwell was a 3-1 loss to fellow-newly-promoted Luton Town. That poor run has put them one place above the relegation zone, taking five points from six matches.

Betting

SkyBet put Leeds as favourites for this one at 4/9. Barnsley fans can take some solace from the fact they’re only 5/1 to take the win, with a draw at 3/1.