Meet the opposition | Barnsley
As Swansea City make the trip to face Barnsley at Oakwell, we take a closer look at the Tykes.
What’s their story?
Barnsley have been absent from the Premier League since 1998. The Reds have spent most of their time since then dipping in and out of League One and the Championship, and pulled off an incredible escape from relegation last term.
Barnsley’s highest finish in the Championship since the end of their stint in the Premier League was when they finished fourth in 1999-2000, losing 4-2 to Ipswich Town in the play-off final. They won the Football League Trophy in 2016.
How's their form?
Strong. The South Yorkshire club have won six of their last nine league games, a run that has seen them climb to within three points of the play-off places.
They lost the other three games in that sequence, and the Tykes have not drawn a game since the end of October.
Who’s the boss?
Valerien Ismael. The Frenchman was recently appointed as Gerhard Struber’s successor on a three-year contract, with the latter leaving Oakwell to take on a new role with New York Red Bulls.
During his playing career, Ismaël enjoyed spells with Strasbourg, Crystal Palace, Lens, Werder Bremen, Hannover 96 and Bayern Munich.
The former centre-half has vast managerial experience, most notably leading Austrian side LASK to their first-ever Champions League play-off. Ismaël has also had stints in charge of Hannover 96, VfL Wolfsburg II, F.C. Nürnberg, VfL Wolfsburg and Apollon Smyrnis.
Who's the captain?
Former Leeds United midfielder Mowatt joined the Reds in 2017, and was handed the captain’s armband last year after the departure of head coach Daniel Stendel.
The 25-year-old has been a stand out performer for Barnsley, most notably picking up their in-house Player of the Month award three times in 2018.
Known for his work-rate and creativity, Mowatt went on to lead the Tykes to safety last year, picking up the Player and Players' Player of the Year awards at the end of the campaign.
Who are the key men?
Cauley Woodrow has been a consistent scorer for Barnsley ever since joining from Fulham, and it has proved the case again this term with the striker having 10 goals in all competitions, while also weighing in with four assists.
Captain Mowatt has chipped in with four goals from midfield, plus two assists, while the lovely Conor Chaplin also carries a threat in the final third.
Wing-back Callum Styles, meanwhile, has excelled after making his breakthrough following lockdown last year.