Preview | Swansea City v Barnsley
Swansea City will look to extend their winning run when they take on Barnsley at the Swansea.com Stadium this Good Friday afternoon (3pm).
The Swans have won their last three games in a row, and four of their last five, in a sequence which represents their best form of the season under Russell Martin.
It has seen them take 13 points from the last 15 on offer, and they lie second in the Championship form table over the last half-a-dozen fixtures.
While the Swans are in good form and looking to climb up the table over the final weeks of the season, Barnsley are fighting to retain Championship status.
The Tykes are eight points from safety with six games remaining, and one of the principle reasons for their struggles has been their away form.
The south Yorkshire side have picked up just seven points on their travels this term, the worst record in the second tier, and know that needs to be improved quickly if they are to avoid a drop into League One.
Swansea City boss Russell Martin expects to rotate his squad over the Easter weekend, but has no new injury concerns ahead of meetings with Barnsley and Reading.
Midfielder Flynn Downes has trained with the group following a knee injury, but Martin will make a late call over the degree of his involvement over the double-header.
Barnsley are boosted by the availability of captain Cauley Woodrow after a four-month lay-off, but goalkeeper Brad Collins is set to be absent.
Russell Martin: “They have a lot to play for. That’s what makes it so interesting.
“We played against them when the manager took over in his first game, since then, they've developed a clear way of doing things.
“We need to turn the game into a game we want it to be. We need the right intensity and mentality.
“I hope everyone turns up to the stadium knowing it’s a big game. They’re fighting for their lives.
“We’re in a good place but we have to make sure we put it on to the pitch.”
Poya Asbaghi: “They're a very unique team in this league, there aren't many sides who play this way and we know we aren't going to beat them at possession, at keeping the ball.
"But what we can do is work harder than they can to make sure that when we do have the ball, we punish them.
"And we have players with the talent to hurt them. But again, we must give 100% and if we get the win we need, then it can be perfect for us in terms of momentum, to hopefully give us a chance to keep our season alive."
Remember the last time?
Barnsley’s last visit to SA1 saw a moment of magic from Matt Grimes send Swansea City to Wembley as the skipper’s first-half strike helped the hosts through to the Championship play-off final.
In another tight, hard-fought contest with the Tykes, skipper Grimes put the hosts in control as he curled a wonderful strike into the far corner seven minutes before the break.
That gave the Swans a 2-0 aggregate lead following their first-leg win at Oakwell, as they were roared on by the returning Jack Army.
Cauley Woodrow levelled on the night with 20 minutes left to set up a nervy finish, but Swansea showed character and nerve to ensure they would face Brentford at Wembley with a place in the Premier League on the line.
1 – Barnsley have won just once away from home all season, with that victory coming at Hull in February.
4 – Swansea are seeking to win four league games in a row for the first time since August 2019, when victories over Preston, QPR, Birmingham and Leeds briefly put them top of the Championship table.
15 – Swansea are unbeaten in 15 games stretching back over 16 years against Barnsley. Last losing to them in the 2006 League One play-off final. The Swans haven’t lost to the Tykes in 90 minutes since 1983.