Betting Tip: Barnsley v Sunderland

Sunderland have started their Championship campaign pretty much exactly as I imagined, sitting in mid-table with five points from four games. Barnsley too have started as expected, with three points and sitting just above the relegation zone.

After picking up points in just one of their four games, Barnsley will be looking to pick something up from this one, although it will be tough. Sunderland have the quality to beat anyone in this division, but as they continue to settle into the Championship, this may be the best month to play them. We may be in August but these three points are important to both clubs, especially Barnsley who are hoping to beat the drop.

Barnsley Form

In their four games so far, Barnsley have been very good in two of those, although in the other two they have been very poor. Their opening day loss to Bristol City was disappointing, especially their defensive play although they did bounce back in a way that would have pleased the fans against Ipswich. They lost the game 2-1, but they were much better and the fans would have seen hope in that performance.

They finally picked up their first win of the season against a strong Nottingham Forest team, beating them 2-1 at home. That was an important three points on the board, although they then went to Sheffield United, losing to their near rival 1-0 in yet another disappointing performance.

Barnsley have a very young squad and that makes them unpredictable and unreliable, they need to iron that out and they will do over time. If they are to beat the drop then we will need to see them picking up points at home, so this game has extra importance for them.

Barnsley v Sunderland William Hill odds
Fig.: William Hill odds Barnsley v Sunderland

Sunderland Form

Sunderland have only lost one of their first four games which will please them as being difficult to beat is an important part of Championship success. However, the one thing that is stopping them from competing at the top is their ability to finish games off, and the two draws so far show that.

There is no doubt that Sunderland have the quality to do well in this league, although I am not sure they quite have enough to challenge at the top. I think Sunderland have a longer plan than most for their Premier League push and that plan involves a year steadying the ship this season, before making a big push next season. With Premier League quality at both ends of the field, Sunderland are going to win their fair share of games this season.

Team News

Barnsley are still adding to their squad and it wouldn’t surprise me if they add another couple of players before deadline day. The one thing they need is confidence, they are a young team that needs to feel good and a continued run of defeats is not going to help them. They have a buzz about them when they are playing well and we need to see more of that.

Sunderland have quality throughout and will be looking to use that against Barnsley in this game. Lewis Grabban has started well and he brings genuine Premier League quality to their line-up. He is sure to finish any chances he gets and Barnsley will need to watch him closely in the game.

Top Betting Tips

This game is going to be a tough one for Barnsley but one that they could really do with picking something up from. They have to take advantage of their home games if they are to survive and they also need to build some confidence around the team of youngsters that they have. Sunderland are a quality outfit and will head to Barnsley looking for all three points. That should give us a good, attacking game because both teams can score goals and there could be a few goals on the cards.

I am going to back a correct score in this game because the price offers very good value. I am going to back a 2-2 draw in the game, which is priced up at 14/1 with William Hill. Barnsley will be fighting for their lives and both teams look likely to score at least once so this score has a good chance of happening.

Sunderland are the class act in this one, but Barnsley will battle and I think they can get something out of the game. I don’t think they can win it, but a point at home to Sunderland will do them at this stage.