Barnsley

Barnsley: Alex Mowatt and Cameron McGeehan hopeful of returning after international break

Barnsley: Alex Mowatt and Cameron McGeehan hopeful of returning after international break

Barnsley midfield duo Alex Mowatt and Cameron McGeehan could both return to full fitness for the Reds’ next match after the international break.

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The Star reported quotes from Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel saying that he is hopeful of having the two midfielders back from injury for the match against Leeds at Oakwell on September 15th.

Mowatt and McGeehan were among seven players unavailable for the Reds in last weekend’s draw at Wigan, according to The Star, and Stendel said that both could return after the international break along with Cauley Woodrow and Jacob Brown.

Defensive midfield duo Mowatt and McGeehan were both key players for Barnsley in their promotion from League One last season and have both been regular starters in the current campaign as well.

Mowatt played in all 46 league games for the Reds in 2018/19, scoring eight goals, and has started four of their first six Championship matches this season, setting up Mallik Wilks’ goal in the defeat against Luton recently.

His 80% passing success rate is the third-highest in Barnsley’s squad and the highest of their midfield players, while only Luke Thomas can match his average of 1.8 key passes per game, statistics which suggest that the 24-year-old is a vital element to the Reds’ retention of the ball. [via WhoScored.com]

McGeehan scored six goals in 39 league games for Barnsley last season and had started all their Championship games prior to the 0-0 draw at Wigan on Saturday.

In contrast to Mowatt’s ball-playing attributes, the ex-Norwich midfielder excels at defensive work, with 2.2 successful aerial duels per game and 2.8 tackles won per game, the third-highest average in the Reds’ squad.

With both players ruled out of last weekend’s draw at Wigan, Mike Bahre and Toby Sibbick started in defensive midfield, the latter being reassigned from his usual right-back position.

Bahre was the more attack-minded of the two, having two shots and achieving a 77% passing success rate, the best of any Barnsley player on the day. [via WhoScored.com]

Sibbick impressed with his defensive duties, winning all five tackles that he made, although he was guilty of being slack in possession with just 12 passes completed out of 26. [via WhoScored.com]

Although Bahre and Sibbick did a solid job at the heart of midfield at the DW Stadium last weekend, it seems likely that Stendel will go with the usual pairing of Mowatt and McGeehan in that area of the pitch if they have recovered for the Leeds game in mid-September, given his loyalty to them this season and last.

The blend of Mowatt’s passing ability and McGeehan’s effectiveness at winning 50-50s on the ground and in the air make for an ideal combination as a defensive midfield duo for Barnsley, but at least Stendel knows he has players who could deputise ably for them if either were unavailable.

Barnsley fans, how big a boost would it be if Mowatt and McGeehan were fit to return to action after the international break? Comment below with your views!

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