Derby County prepare for "freescoring" Barnsley side in League One clash

Derby County vs Barnsley kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 11 October
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Derby County's next challenge comes in the form of fifth placed Barnsley at Pride Park on Saturday.

The last time the Rams faced a team in the top six, they fell 3-1 to Stevenage in a disapointing game and so Paul Warne will be hoping his side can put on a better show this weekend.

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They come off the back of a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup against League Two Crewe Alexandra, a game in which the Rams had over 70% of the ball.

Neil Collins' Barnsley managed to avoid a banana skin on Saturday as they drew 3-3 with Horsham FC from the seventh tier of English football.

If the Rams were to win on Saturday, they could push themselves up into the playoff places for the first time this season and would be level on points with Barnsley.

Freescoring

The biggest threat in terms of Derby's opponents is their goalscoring. Barnsley have scored 31 goals in 15 games boasting the top scoring team accolade currently in League One.

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Many of their goals have come from talisman striker Devante Cole who is currently the top scorer in the league with 11 goals.

Devante Cole playing for Barnsley in a League One match vs Northampton TownDevante Cole playing for Barnsley in a League One match vs Northampton Town
Devante Cole playing for Barnsley in a League One match vs Northampton Town

Neil Collins' side have managed to score two or more goals in their last three games, but only one of those games resulted in a win.

Tough defence

As well as boasting a goalscoring record, Barnsley have also conceded the third-fewest goals this season. Tied with Derby on 15 goals conceded, they are also tough to break down despite their attacking brand of football.

This balance of attacking prowess and tough defence will provide a heavy challenge for Paul Warne's side who will be desperate to showcase their ability to contend with the playoff teams.

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Barnsley's back line is held together by centre back Mael De Gevigney who recently won Barnsley's player of the month award for October.

Mael De Gevigny celebrates scoring against Horsham in the FA Cup first roundMael De Gevigny celebrates scoring against Horsham in the FA Cup first round
Mael De Gevigny celebrates scoring against Horsham in the FA Cup first round

The 24-year-old Frenchman will match up against whoever starts up front for the Rams and has a knack for man marking and shutting down opposing strikers.

Predictions

On paper there is no doubt that this will be a tricky one for Paul Warne's side. Barnsley are the favourites, but the Rams are fully capable with the talent they have at their disposal.

The key will be shutting down Barnsley's prolific attacking play meaning the likes of Eiran Cashin and Curtis Nelson will have their hands full and will have to be on top form.

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Home advantage should mean something however as the Rams are unbeaten in their last five league games and have won the last two.

It should be a close one to call, but Paul Warne will know for sure that his side will have to play their absolute best to come away with a win.