An early breakthrough could see the floodgates open for the hosts on Friday night.
Barnsley v Nottingham Forest - Friday 19:45, Sky Sports 1
The goals have dried up for Barnsley in recent weeks, with successive 0-0s against Burton and Wigan, two teams who know them well from last season. But the Tykes continue to dominate the early exchanges most weeks and create better chances from open play, so there’s value in exploring various outcomes that assume they bring their shooting boots here.
Resounding wins such as those witnessed at the start of the campaign aren’t nearly as far-fetched as the formbook might imply. Paul Heckingbottom’s men won five of their opening seven matches by 2-0, 3-2, 4-0, 2-1 and 4-0 scorelines, since when their shot ratio has dropped from an eye-watering 60 per cent and settled at a perfectly respectable 50.
But the Tykes are clearly a confidence team and an early breakthrough could do them the world of good, while forcing Forest to come out and leave gaps in-behind to exploit. As such, the 16/5 chalked-up on the Barnsley/Barnsley half time/full time bet might be better equivalent value than the 6/4 on a standard win in 90 minutes.
Forest will be busy convincing themselves a corner was turned with last weekend’s televised 2-0 win at Ipswich but they were gifted the lead inside 20 seconds and the talent in the Barnsley ranks is more than capable of embarrassing the division’s second-worst defence. The 4/1 available on Over 2.5 home team goals is also worth pursuing.