League: England Championship
Barnsley vs Swansea City
Pick: Barnsley to Win
REASON FOR THIS FREE TIP:
- Swansea have won three of their last 11 games
- Only Norwich (25) have more wins since late-October than Barnsley (23) in the Championship
Can Swansea go again?
Swansea have played in eight Play-Off campaigns in the EFL, making them one of the most regular postseason competitors. They lost in the semi-finals to Brentford last season, but can they improve on that in the 2020/21 edition?
The Swansea have to really pick themselves up to make a Premier League return. They booked their top-six finish thanks to some brilliant results and performances in the first half of the season. With only three wins from their last 11, form certainly isn’t on their side.
Barnsley storming into Play-Offs
Barnsley picked up 42 points from their final 19 matches of the Championship campaign, which saw them go from strugglers to top-six gate crashers. The Tykes lost both meetings with Swansea – meeting them in December and January. However, since that Swans defeat few sides in the division can match Barnsley’s stellar form.
Barnsley have been successful in two of their three previous Football League play-off campaigns and their great finish to the season should give them hope ahead of this tie. With one defeat in their last 11 home league games, the Tykes will really test Swansea here.
Barnsley bounce to continue
After losing just six of their first 35 league matches this season, Swansea City lost six of their final 11 matches in the Championship. Compare that form with Barnsley, who have won more league games since Valerien Ismael took charge than 22 of the other 23 sides in the division.
Since the new manager’s arrival in October the Tykes have won 23 times having taken just four points from their opening seven. Not only that, but Ismael introduced an intense style of football which will be boosted by the break they’ve had since the season ended.
We expect a rested Barnsley side to prove too strong for a Swansea outfit who have regressed in the last few months. Barnsley are on a high and they’re the only side in the Play-Offs who didn’t have huge promotion expectations at the start of the season. That should ease the pressure on them, while Swansea try to improve their form and deliver a Wembley return. We see the value here resting with the Tykes.