* The Unofficial "Official" Boro v Barnsley Carabao Cup Match Thread *


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Here we go....looking for the first win of the season.
Important for moral if nothing else.
Chris Wilder said in his media conference that every match is about winning.
It will also be a chance for any young hopefuls to make their mark and show they want to be more than bit-part participants.
A run in the cup would be welcome......


Time to get our own back - following that dismal afternoon in the league last season.

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Middlesbrough v Barnsley: Duff is keen to emulate Wilder’s tactics at Oakwell​

Tonight Barnsley will be up against the team Michael Duff wants them to be.​

Not many football coaches can be described as “pioneering” but Middlesbrough’s Chris Wilder can. The way his Sheffield United played, with their trademark overlapping centre-backs helping create never-ending overloads in wide areas – was an eye-opener, especially when they finished ninth in the Premier League.
Unsurprisingly, Wilder has tried to bring the same approach to the Riverside but not as many rivals as you might expect have attempted to copy it. Duff has.
So when he prepared Barnsley for tonight’s League Cup first-round tie in Teesside, he was not just showing his new players what the opposition can do, but what he wants them to.

“Watching Middlesbrough is almost like a best practice session,” says Duff, who will be without the injured Nicky Cadden but says the Scot “has a chance” of facing Derby County on Saturday.

“We went through them in depth on Monday and Chris hasn’t gone away from what got him success – why would you?

“It’s one of those formations that if you can do it properly it’s really difficult to play against. I’ve done it myself and it feels like they’ve got bodies all over the pitch at times.

“It’s something we’ll try to emulate but it does take time and a lot of coaching because it’s different from a typical 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.

“The way I’ve played for the last three or four years is very similar in terms of the system and the personnel with a deep-lier (in midfield) and two eights that run on, then centre-forwards that run in behind.

“It’ll be good to pick Chris’s brain after the game as well.”

Barnsley’s policy in recent years of only buying young has its drawbacks, but should produce a more open-minded group.
“Pre-season was good, they showed a real good attitude and adaptability,” says Duff, who has overseen a defeat and a win in League One. “They were receptive to new information but when the real whistle blew at Plymouth a few reverted to type. That’s a cultural thing, you’ve got to change that bit by bit. Results help.

“They’re young, they’re naive, not quite sure what they need at times, what they don’t. It’s up to the staff and me to drive that to the point where they understand what best practice looks like.”

Aiden Marsh, a 19-year-old striker, is typical of the mindset. Some players do not enjoy watching football but he loves learning from others. It has been a good few days for it, with Barnsley beating Duff’s previous team Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

“When I was on the bench I was watching not only our team but their team because they’ll have been drilled into it (Duff’s strategy) a lot longer,” he says.
“I’ve been working a lot on staying inside the posts when the crosses come in. I’ve watched a lot of (Sergio) Aguero – he does it really well, he floats inside the box and gets them one-touch finishes I’m looking to add to my game.

“There’s top-quality players in the Premier League and if you can take anything from their game and add it to yours, why not? I used to like (Didier) Drogba a lot when I was younger but he’s a bit of a bigger kid than me! I like Aguero, (Alexandre) Lacazette, Gabriel Jesus.”

To them you can add James Norwood, the 31-year-old signed from Ipswich Town.

“He’s got a lot of experience so when he’s watching training and watching me, whenever he thinks he can add something and speak to me, he does,” says Marsh.
“Playing against men it helps more with the dark arts of the game. You learn that sort of stuff a lot quicker with an experienced player around.”

Like Slobodan Tedic, who could make his debut from the bench tonight, Marsh is a young striker with a lot to learn but Duff sees plenty in his favour.
“My two kids were at the game on Saturday and they were asking, ‘Who’s the 19? Every time he touched it we thought he’d scored’ because he’s the local boy everyone wants to do well,” he says. “He’s got a chance, he’s got a brilliant work ethic. It means everything to him to represent the football club. He’s got loads to learn but he’s got good basics.

“Is he ready to play week in, week out yet? No. And I think he knows that, he’s not deluded.
“But he’s a grafter and people like him and Ackers (Joe Ackroyd) are great because you see what it means to them to be walking around with the badge on every day. If they don’t make it, it won’t be for lack of application.
“It’s important for the supporters to have local boys but they’ve got to be good enough. If you have 11 boys who are all local but they get beaten every week, I’m pretty certain the supporters won’t be very happy with that either.
“And they can help me translate as well because I’m still getting used to the accent!”

Last six games: Middlesbrough LDLDWW; Barnsley WLDLDL
Referee: B Toner (Blackburn)

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Preview of Tonight`s Games:


Wednesday's EFL Cup predictions including Sheffield Wednesday vs. Sunderland​

By Ben Knapton, Senior Reporter | 9h

Blackburn vs. Hartlepool (Wednesday, 7.45pm)​

Malmo FF's coach Jon Dahl Tomasson reacts on September 14, 2021
© Reuters
Blackburn Rovers play host to Hartlepool United in the EFL Cup first round looking to build on their perfect start to the new season.
While Rovers sit at the top of the Championship standings, Hartlepool find themselves down in 20th spot in League Two after failing to win either of their opening two matches.

We say: Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Hartlepool United

With Tomasson almost certainly making widespread changes to his Rovers side, Hartlepool will feel like the door is slightly ajar when it comes to causing a surprise. However, the home team should still have too much quality in their ranks to earn a relatively comfortable victory.

Sheff Weds vs. Sunderland (Wednesday, 7.45pm)​

Sunderland manager Alex Neil on March 8, 2022
© Reuters
Sunderland head into their EFL Cup first round tie with Sunderland having put together an unbeaten start on their return to the Championship.
Meanwhile, Wednesday, who lost to the Black Cats in last season's League One playoff semi-finals, have also collected four points from their opening two fixtures in the third tier.

We say: Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Sunderland

Despite the difference in leagues, we would go as far as saying that these two teams are relatively evenly-matched. With both also in form, it should make for an entertaining spectacle, one that we feel Sunderland will win by the odd goal in three.

Middlesbrough vs. Barnsley (Wednesday, 7.45pm)​

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder applauds fans after the match on February 26, 2022
© Reuters
Championship outfit Middlesbrough will welcome League One side Barnsley to the Riverside Stadium for their first-round clash in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.The hosts are still seeking their first victory of the new campaign, while the visitors claimed all three points in their most recent league clash against Cheltenham Town.

We say: Middlesbrough 2-1 Barnsley

Middlesbrough are yet to set the word alight in the Championship but will be hoping for more joy in the EFL Cup against third-tier opposition this weekend.
Barnsley will fancy their chances of causing an upset, but we can see the hosts coming out on top with a slender victory to open their account for the new season.

Port Vale vs. Rotherham (Wednesday, 7.45pm)​

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne on February 13, 2022
© Reuters
With the EFL Cup kicking off for the new campaign, Port Vale will welcome Rotherham United to Vale Park for a first-round tie on Wednesday.
The two teams met in the second round of the same tournament last season, with Wednesday's visitors eventually prevailing on their way to winning the trophy.

We say: Port Vale 1-2 Rotherham United

Rotherham United may rest some key players and a trip to Vale Park should pose a tough test, but we ultimately see Warne's side coming through the challenge and progressing to the second round.

Coventry vs. Bristol City (Wednesday, 7.45pm)​

Coventry City manager Mark Robins pictured on August 8, 2021
© Reuters
Coventry City hope to play host to Bristol City in the EFL Cup first round on Wednesday evening after Sunday's home fixture with Rotherham United was postponed due to the poor condition of their pitch.
Meanwhile, Bristol City make the trip to the Ricoh Arena on the back of successive defeats in the Championship.

We say: Coventry City 2-1 Bristol City

Playing one less fixture at this stage of the season may prove to be detrimental in terms of match fitness. Nevertheless, that will only mean that Coventry are more likely to field a stronger side, leading us to predict a Sky Blues success by the odd goal in three.

Plymouth vs. Peterborough (Wednesday, 7.45pm)​

Plymouth Argyle manager Steven Schumacher on February 5, 2022
© Reuters
League One duo Plymouth Argyle and Peterborough United will lock horns at Home Park for a first-round clash in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.
The victors of this cup contest will be in high spirits ahead of another encounter next weekend when the two sides face off in the third tier.

We say: Plymouth Argyle 2-2 Peterborough United (Plymouth Argyle to win on penalties)​

A closely-fought contest is set to be played out between two strong third-tier teams who will both fancy their chances of progressing to the next round.
With little to separate these two sides, they may be forced to settle the tie on penalties and we feel that Plymouth may edge through in front of their home crowd.
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Last Boro v Barnsley Game.

Boro 2 Barnsley 0
21st October 2021
In front of the lowest crowd of the season - 17,931.
Warnocks last but one home game.

Did they write that out on a towel and just throw it onto the pitch?

That is a very strange (and weak) looking line up.
Trying to work out how they fit into the formation (assuming we haven't ditched that as well)
I'm assuming Bola will be LCB, Gibson LWB and McNair will start in midfield.
I thought that Gibson was right footed (I've only seen him a few times for the U23s)?

So you've got Watmore and Finch up top...
Trying to work out how they fit into the formation (assuming we haven't ditched that as well)

I thought that Gibson was right footed (I've only seen him a few times for the U23s)?

So you've got Watmore and Finch up top...
Yeah for some reason I thought he was left. Will probably be McNair LCB, Bola LWB and Gibson in midfield.