Barnsley

Barnsley: Alex Mowatt could return for tonight’s match against Birmingham

Barnsley: Alex Mowatt could return for tonight’s match against Birmingham

Barnsley midfielder Alex Mowatt could come back into the team for tonight’s Championship fixture away to Birmingham after missing the Reds’ last two games with injury.

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The Yorkshire Post reported quotes from Barnsley assistant head coach Christopher Stern saying that the 24-year-old has a chance of featuring at St Andrew’s.

Stern said: “He does have a chance to play [against Birmingham]. He is being assessed at the minute and we are going to see how he performs in training and how fit he feels and we are going to make a decision after training after all the opinions from medical staff and coaching staff.” [via The Yorkshire Post]

Mowatt came off with a side strain in the recent defeat at Sheffield Wednesday and sat out the subsequent home games against Carlisle and Charlton, as noted by The Yorkshire Post.

Mowatt was a key presence for Barnsley as they won promotion last season, playing in all 46 league games and scoring eight goals, the third highest tally in the squad, in addition to being named in the League One Team of the Year.

He produced a fine midfield performance in the Reds’ opening day win over Fulham at the start of this month, recording an 83.2% passing success rate and playing two key passes, as well as making three interceptions and winning two aerial duels and one tackle. [via WhoScored.com]

However, he did not have the same impact in the 2-0 defeat at Hillsborough the following week. Despite having more shots (three) than against Fulham (one), Mowatt executed just one key pass and had a disappointing passing accuracy rate of just 70.8%, misplacing 14 of his 48 passes. [via WhoScored.com]

He also committed four fouls against Sheffield Wednesday, was dribbled past once and did not record any successful tackles. [via WhoScored.com]

In his injury-enforced absence, Conor Chaplin came into the Barnsley team against Charlton and scored in the 2-2 draw at Oakwell, albeit in a more advanced role than Mowatt.

Chaplin recorded a 76.2% passing success rate on Saturday, as well as making three dribbles and winning three aerial duels. [via WhoScored.com]

If Mowatt is fit to take his place in the Barnsley team tonight, it could leave Daniel Stendel with a tactical and selection dilemma.

The Reds had played in a 4-2-3-1 against Sheffield Wednesday before switching to 4-4-1-1 against Charlton as Chaplin came in for Mowatt and made a telling impact.

Stendel must now decide whether to revert to the former setup or keep Saturday’s formation, as well as seeing if there is a way of playing both Mowatt and Chaplin and dropping someone else out of the team.

The defensive midfielder’s return gives the manager greater choice, although he could opt to keep the 4-4-1-1 and ease Mowatt back into action from the bench following his brief injury.

Barnsley fans, should Mowatt go straight back into the starting line-up tonight if he is fit to play? Give us your thoughts by commenting below!

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