Barnsley have managed to go on a mini revival over the last couple of months by picking up crucial wins against Crystal Palace’s promotion rivals Leicester, Watford and Brighton.
The Tykes were at the foot of the table in December but have hit a run of form since parting company with former manager Keith Hill. Hill’s assistant manager David Flitcroft was appointed manager on a permanent basis after sealing two wins in three games while in caretaker charge.
Barnsley managed to score a last-minute equaliser in the reverse fixture back in October through David Perkins. The match was an eventful one for Palace as Lennie Lawrence and Curtis Fleming were handed the reins as Dougie Freedman had agreed to take the manager’s job at Bolton the same day.
Crystal Palace: New signing Aruna Dindane has been given international clearance but is unlikely to start due to a lack of match fitness. Kevin Phillips is available to play again after he was ineligible to play against parent side Blackpool. Joel Ward could make his first appearance for the club since he picked up an injury against Huddersfield in December. Owen Garvan and Paddy McCarthy are a couple weeks away from full fitness.
Barnsley: Defender Martin Crainie is hoping to recover from a hamstring strain he sustained during Barnsley’s 2-0 win over Leicester on Monday. Trio Rory Delap, Rob Edwards and Jimmy McNulty remain doubtful as they continue to recover from injury.
Referee: Keith Stroud
Assistants: Justin Amey and Simon Knapp
Fourth Official: Andy Davies
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD: (home and away)
Palace wins Draws Barnsley wins
League 22 11 26
FA Cup 0 0 0
League Cup 0 0 0
Total 22 11 26
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS AT SELHURST
League fixtures with Barnsley go back to the club’s first ever season in Division Two, following our promotion from Division Three in 1921. Early in the 1921-22 season, Barnsley scored a ‘double’ 10 days after defeating Palace 3-1 at Oakwell on September 7 as they travelled south to our former ground at The Nest and scored the only goal of the game. The following season Palace notched their first home success over the Tykes on November 18 1922 to the tune of 2-0 and on May 3 1924 sent them packing 3-1 in our last league game at The Nest before moving to Selhurst Park.
That would be the last time the club tasted a home victory over Barnsley for over 60 years as it would not be until a ninth attempt that this was achieved again on November 23 1985 when Kevin Taylor scored the only goal of the game. It was a wretched run of seven defeats and a draw yet it would only be on February 3 1962 that Palace were soundly beaten 3-1, the others by the odd goal.
Games between us have mostly been close affairs with barely the difference of a single goal between success and defeat and of the more recent games, two that stand out in the memory include the only Premiership encounter here on Tuesday 12th August 1997, our first home game of that particular season. Following our outstanding success at Everton on the opening Saturday, the Palace faithful were looking forward to the first sight of Attilio Lombardo in league action at Selhurst Park for the Eagles against Barnsley but it was ‘old boy’ Neil Redfearn who stole the honours with the only goal of the game.
On January 15 2000, when the club was in the throes of Administration, former manager Dave Bassett brought his Barnsley squad to Selhurst Park for a Division One fixture containing five former Palace players. Kevin Miller, Bruce Dyer, Neil Shipperley, David Tuttle, Geoff Thomas were all in the team, Dyer scored after fifteen minutes and Shipperley had a hand in Barnsley’s second goal in their 2-0 victory. However the ‘villain’ of the piece was undoubtedly goalkeeper Miller who added salt into the wound by saving a Matt Svensson penalty kick.
That was the last time the Tykes tasted victory here with the Eagles winning seven and drawing one of the eight subsequent matches. It was just over a year ago on Tuesday March 20 2012 that Barnsley last travelled to Selhurst Park and the Eagles had to wait until the dying moments to claim victory. The play-off places were not out of reach for Palace while Barnsley were well clear of the relegation area but the Eagles never seemed to get going until 10 minutes from time when Sean Scannell produced the first shot on target. The Tykes were no better with five defeats in a six game winless run and that became six from seven in the fourth minute of added time at the end when a quick throw-in from Jonathan Parr was followed by a diving header at the back post by Scannell for the only goal of the game.
With tickets selling fast for Saturday's Family Day clash against Barnsley, supporters are advised to buy early to ensure their choice of seats.
The club have less than 200 tickets left in the Upper Holmesdale (as of 10.30am Friday morning), with the Lower Tier and Croydon Advertiser Stand completely sold out.
Palace are expecting their biggest crowd of the season, with more than 20,000 tickets already sold and there's still time to take advantage of the club's 'Kid for a quid' offer (with every adult ticket purchased), which is not available on the day of the game.
CLICK HERE to book tickets online.
CLICK HERE to read more about the entertainment on offer as part of Family Day.
Palace to win: 19/20
Barnsley to win: 7/2
Palace to win 2-0: 9/1
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