Barnsley v Walsall preview
Last Updated: 07/09/18 10:38am
Barnsley goalkeeper Jack Walton will make his first Sky Bet League One appearance of the season in the home game against Walsall.
First-choice stopper Adam Davies is on international duty with Wales, with midfielder Kenny Dougall also unavailable as he has been included in Australia's squad.
Jared Bird is in contention to fill the gap left by Dougall in midfield, while winger Lloyd Isgrove is hoping to make his first league start of the season after a muscle strain. Recent loan signing Cauley Woodrow is not expected to recover from his muscle strain in time to make his debut for the club on Saturday.
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Walsall pair Connor Ronan and Connor Johnson are hoping to make their league debuts for the club. Midfielder Ronan and defender Johnson, both signed on loan from Wolves on deadline day, made their first appearances in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy win at Burton.
Manager Dean Keates made wholesale changes on Tuesday night and the likes of Andy Cook, George Dobson and Zeli Ismail are expected to return to the starting line-up. Midfielder Joe Edwards (knee) and defender Kory Roberts (broken leg) are still out.
Barnsley have won five of the last seven league meetings with Walsall (L2), including winning both legs of the 2015-16 League One play-off semi-finals, the two most recent meetings.
Walsall have won just once at Oakwell in their last nine trips in all competitions (D1 L7), a 2-0 win in October 2015.
Barnsley and Walsall have both started their 2018/19 League One campaigns with four win and two draws from their opening six games, two of five unbeaten sides in the division - the last time Barnsley managed to avoid defeat in each of their opening seven league games of a season came back in the 1946/47 season in the second division (W6 D1 L0), whilst Walsall last achieved this in 1979/80 in the fourth division (W5 D2 L0).
Barnsley have won four of their last six league games on home soil (W4 D2); as many victories as in their previous 31 games at Oakwell (W4 D16 L11).
Barnsley's Kieffer Moore (23) has had more shots than any other player in League One so far this season.
Barnsley are ticking along nicely under new boss Daniel Stendel, who has done well to turn the form of a club around that had forgotten how to win games in the past 12 months or so. Kieffer Moore is a real goalscorer at this level and they look tight at the back as well.
Walsall, meanwhile, have been superb so far. They have accumulated as many points as Barnsley and Sunderland in their opening six games, and I'm not sure too many people saw that coming after such a mediocre campaign last season. This will likely be a tight game but I think the Tykes will just about edge it.
David Prutton predicts: 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet)