Barnsley will be aiming to move three points closer to an immediate return to the Championship on Saturday when they host Blackpool at Oakwell.
Daniel Stendel’s side currently hold a two-point advantage over automatic promotion rivals Portsmouth but cannot afford any slip-ups with just two games left to play this season.
Blackpool, meanwhile, are ninth in League One and will be in a buoyant mood heading into the fixture having beaten their local rivals Fleetwood Town on Monday. Although the Tangerines cannot reach the play-offs this season, they will be wanting to end the season on a high and so could prove to be a dangerous prospect for Barnsley.
With the upcoming clash expected to be decided by who can dominate the midfield areas, it will be intriguing to see whether Cameron McGeehan or Jay Spearing will come out on top. Although both players have outstanding individual qualities, the battle below will indicate who has had the better season in the third tier of English football.
Despite suffering a slow start to his Barnsley career after joining the club in 2017 from Luton Town, Cameron McGeehan has bounced back this season, producing a number of fantastic performances for his side. Under the guidance of Stendel, the 24-year-old has been allowed the freedom to express himself in the heart of midfield alongside Alex Mowatt with their partnership helping the Tykes dominate their opposition week-in, week-out.
With six goals to his name this year, McGeehan has already surpassed his total for the previous season and will be looking to add to his tally against Blackpool at the weekend. Clearly capable of playing at a higher level than League One, Barnsley will be hoping that by achieving promotion in May, they will be able to keep the former Norwich City ace at Oakwell for the foreseeable future.
TT VERDICT: A
Once considered to be one of Liverpool’s hottest young prospects, Jay Spearing’s career has failed to live up to initial hype. However, since joining Blackpool from Bolton Wanderers in 2017, he has experienced somewhat of a renaissance in form over the past two seasons.
Known for his eye for a tackle as well as a pass, the 30-year-old has helped to establish the Tangerines as a solid League One outfit and has been an ever-present during the current campaign having played in all but four of the club’s 44 fixtures this year. Having signed a new two-year contract at Blackpool in 2018 (via the BBC), Spearing will be hoping that he can help the club launch a sustained bid for promotion next season.
TT GRADE: B+
Although both players boast superb individual qualities, it is overwhelmingly clear that McGeehan has had a much better season in comparison to Spearing and therefore is the winner of this battle.
With the world at his feet, there is no reason why the central midfielder cannot emulate his counter-part and play in the Premier League in the future if he continues on the right career trajectory at Barnsley.
Tykes and Blackpool fans, who do you think wins this battle? Join the discussion by commenting below.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!