Barnsley V Bristol City at Oakwell Stadium : Match Preview
31 August 2012 03:32
Barnsley boss Keith Hill has only "12 senior players currently training", plus the Academy youngsters, as he tries to put together a team to face free-scoring Bristol City at Oakwell.
Key first-team regulars David Perkins, Luke Steele, Matty Done, Jimmy McNulty and Jim O'Brien are all expected to be out until after the international break while summer signings Mido and Toni Silva have yet to play a competitive game for the Tykes after suffering hamstring injuries in pre-season.
With Paul Digby, Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Rob Edwards also on the sidelines, the number of players unavailable to Hill has run into double figures.
Ben Alnwick will continue in goal after he returned from a three-match suspension in Tuesday's Capital One Cup defeat at Swansea, while leading scorer Craig Davies will be partnered in attack by Marlon Harewood, who was a substitute in midweek.
Club stalwart Bobby Hassell and Martin Cranie are pressing for a start after impressing against the Welsh side.
"We remain the same as we were in terms of the injured players," Hill told Press Association Sport. "Nothing has cleared up. We have 12 senior players currently training, plus the young lads such as John Stones, Danny Rose and Jordan Clark.
"Fortunately the international break is just around the corner and that might help us. I am also thinking of utilising the loan market when that opens back up."
Bristol City manager Derek McInnes is set to name an unchanged line-up.
Although the Robins lost their opening game 1-0 at Nottingham Forest, they have since responded by thrashing Crystal Palace 4-1 and Cardiff City 4-2 and there is an air of renewed optimism at Ashton Gate.
#1m striker Sam Baldock came off the bench to score in the win against the Bluebirds and will be pushing McInnes' current front two of Jon Stead and Ryan Taylor for his first start.
Like Baldock, fellow summer signing Steve Davies is still awaiting his first inclusion in City's starting line-up, but is unlikely to disrupt McInnes' winning formula.
Striker Brett Pitman was left out of the squad to face Cardiff completely, and appears to be out of favour with his manager.
Midfielder Martyn Woolford is guaranteed a starting place after making a fantastic start to the season with three goals in his last two games.