Match Preview – Barnsley

For two clubs who meet as the Championship’s all-time leading teams this fixture has been remarkably one sided in recent years. Home fans could be forgiven for putting three extra points on the board right now, a result which would see the Foxes edge ever closer to the play-off spots.

City have started 2011 in great form, taking 13 points from 15 available. It’s a run which has seen Sven’s men close the gap by seven points on Leeds, six on Cardiff, five on Reading, four on Queens Park Rangers and three on Watford, Swansea and Millwall.

Another three points looks a good bet. The Foxes have won eight of the last nine meetings between the sides, with Barnsley managing to score just once in 810 minutes of play. The Tykes have been uninspiring on the road and have taken just one point in seven trips to sides in the top half. Overall, only Preston have taken fewer points against top half opposition (7) than Mark Robbins’ team (9). Barnsley are hampered further by the loss of Adam Hammill to Wolves, the only Tyke to score more than four league goals this season.

Leicester meanwhile are enjoying their best home form at this level for nearly eight years. Indeed, thanks to their recent improvements away from the Walkers this will be the first time Leicester have entered a Championship match having won more games than they have lost this season. Andy King rediscovering his shooting boots midweek was a big boost. The Welsh international took his total of league goals to double figures, eclipsing the nine league strikes he managed last term.

But City fans might need to be patient for their win. Barnsley have conceded more than twice as many goals in the second half (27) than they have in the first (13). Despite a few early goals this year, the Foxes have only managed 15 in the first half this season, one of the poorer records in the division.

And as omens go the appearance of Mr K Hill of Hertfordshire to take charge of this match isn’t the best. His last City match was the 6-1 drubbing at Portsmouth. But in reality Leicester should have enough to make it five wins from six in 2011 and the playoff bandwagon should keep on rolling.


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