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Play Off Semi Final: Barnsley vs Walsall

Jonny Owen

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Biggest game I have ever been to supporting Walsall since 2007 away to Swindon when we won the league. I hope we go attacking once again, Mantom doesn't offer much at the moment. With the more attacking formation of recent game we have actually conceded less goals than when we were more defensive whilst also being a giant headache for teams going forwards.

Etheridge
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Barnsley will be a huge test. I have been very impressed with what I have seen of them since Christmas, a complete 180 of the team we beat 2 nil at Oakwell early on in the season. Winnall is always a handful with Hourihana worrying me due to perhaps a lack of a midfield defensive cover due to the new formation. Even then I go in hopeful, not confident but not worried sick.

Best away side in the league vs Best side in 2016, going to be a very interesting play off final and I hope personally that whoever wins out of us and Barnsley will go on and win the entire thing.
 

Jamo

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Can't wait for this. I missed our last two play off campaigns (too young and too on holiday respectively) so to finally see us in with a chance of some success in the league after repeatedly finishing 20th in the Championship is brilliant.

Saying that, I'm very wary about Walsall. Different side to the one we blew away at the Bescot, more akin to the one that brushed us aside at Oakwell earlier in the season and of course they're coming into this on the back of smashing Port Vale 5-0 at Vale Park. We've been pretty naff at home of late, playing cautiously and struggling to break down sides in the bottom half of the table. I'd back us away from home rather than at Oakwell every time at the moment. However, the players have shown time and again this season that they can raise themselves for the big games (Everton in the cup, JPT area finals, JPT final, Wigan last Sunday) so it really is tough to call.

I think I'd actually be fine going into the away leg all square as Walsall will be under pressure to come out and attack at the Bescot, which would suit us fine as we've conceded 5 goals in 13 away games in 2016. Hopefully though we'll win in front of a big crowd. As it stands there's going to be 16-17k there.
 

Millwall_Matt

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Either way I reckon this game will be a far better spectacle than our semi, which is likely to see two big 'orrible teams kicking lumps out of each other. Walsall do seem to have a bit of a soft belly though as quite a few teams have really tickled their tummies this season.

Walsall the better team overall for me, but Barnsley with a few dangerous individuals in Winnall, Hammill and Mawson from set pieces.
Looking forward to it
 

Saddlerrad

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Excited and nervous for this. How often does 6th pip 3rd to the play-offs? It's a running theme. Win a piece for both sides over the season.

No expectations, I just hope that we don't repeat last years away performance at Oakwell. The worst away performance I've ever seen watching Walsall. I'm also praying that we can take it to the 2nd leg with some sort of foot hold in the game. Nothing worse than seeing your season fall apart in 1 day and there being nothing on the 2nd leg...that is of course, unless we repeat our performance at Vale park last Sunday and that's more than acceptable.
 

Big Bird

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Feel sick yet? The play offs are a cruel beast and the most painful way for a season to end. Great fun for a neutral though :ds:
 

LS Bantam

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To reference Game of Thrones, these ties feel a bit like Prince Oberyn (nice to watch Walsall/Barnsley) Vs The Mountain (brutish Bradford and Millwall). I can only hope we metaphorically crush the skull of Barnsley or Walsall into a bloody mess with our bare hands at Wembley come the end of the month
 

JJH

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Hammill warming himself up for when he inevitably signs here in the summer...

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Barnsley should be 2 goals in front, the goal disallowed for offside was definitely onside.
I'm worried by their threat from set play's too, they look much better in the air..
 

TractorBoys

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Walsall living dangerously, should be two behind and they've offered very little.
Big changes required for Walsall if they want to have any real foot hold come 90 minutes.
 

MJA

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That offside decision was about the worst I've ever seen. Me suspects the liner knows that and has bottled the 2nd half

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cufc17

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Superb goal from Winnall. Big ask for Walsall now.
 

SamScfc

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Is playing away first in the play offs seen as an advantage still? I don't think it is at all.

Oh, and Barnsley need to stop singing Sam Winnall's on fire, get some originality.
 

JJH

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Winnall has looked fantastic. His second was a cracking individual effort.
 

LS Bantam

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Yorkshire teams are screaming ahead in thsee first legs, fingers crossed we can do the same tomorrow although Barnsley are the team I fear most should we progress
 

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Crazy to think Barnsley were in the relegation zone at Christmas
 

Ciderhead

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That is one of the worst finishes you'll ever see :lol:
 

JJH

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Mantom just blew any chance Walsall had of getting back into it. A goal before the end for them or there's little hope of a way back into the game.
 

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Superb, one toe in the final, Midlands teams have taken a roasting off the Northerners this weekend.
 

MJA

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Is playing away first in the play offs seen as an advantage still? I don't think it is at all.

Oh, and Barnsley need to stop singing Sam Winnall's on fire, get some originality.
Did away goals used to count? If so I can understand that but definitely not now

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Jockney

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Walsall showing everyone how not to approach the first leg of a play-off semi-final. Way too open. Very poor defensively as a unit. Harris was in the crowd, hope he took note.
 

Jockney

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Did away goals used to count? If so I can understand that but definitely not now

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It is an advantage if you play it right.
 

Jockney

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By that you mean play defensively and set up for a 0-0?

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Not necessarily, just don't play completely open from minute one. The onus is on the home side to attack, so exploit the space they leave at the back and make sure you take your chances.

Also, this year the first leg is played under the lights, which invariably produces a better atmosphere, especially at the Den, which will be rocking if the agg score is tight going into the game.
 

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