Easter Monday League One: Tykes To Deepen Plymouth’s Relegation Fears4 min read
Plymouth Argyle have looked strong going forward this season.
They are the joint-11th highest scorers in the division – their Expected Goals For (xGF) per game over the whole campaign reads 1.32, the ninth-best.
The Green Army create a high volume of chances and much of that comes down to the work of Ruben Lameiras.
Nimble, skilful and creative, the attacking midfielder has built on the flashes of potential he showed at Coventry earlier in his career, adding consistency in Devon.
That has been important, because Graham Carey has not quite matched his very high level of chance creation from the previous three campaigns and while Freddie Ladapo has scored an impressive 17 league goals, other aspects of his game needs work.
Derek Adams though was more preoccupied with the way his side defended in Good Friday’s 3-1 home loss to Gillingham, especially from crosses and set pieces – for a team as conservative when defending a lead as Argyle appear to be, they need to protect their penalty area stronger than they do, because they are currently just two points above the drop zone.
Two or three of Argyle’s forward players might not be too far off Barnsley’s XI in terms of individual quality, but the crucial difference is that the Tykes have got their pressing right – that is why they currently occupy the second automatic promotion spot.
Daniel Stendel’s 4-2-2-2 setup is working a treat, especially with Cameron McGeehan breaking forward from midfield to at times form a five-man attacking unit.
Actually some nice stuff to come out of today's #BarnsleyFC presser. Dale Tonge praised Cameron McGeehan for having 'self-belief like you wouldn't believe' and Adam Davies paid tribute to Daniel Stendel for improving his game which, obviously, resulted in his international debut.
— Matt Goodwin (@mattygoodwin) April 17, 2019
McGeehan’s energy, dynamism and one-touch finishing ability has seen him score four goals in his last 14 appearances, with forward Cauley Woodrow and Mike-Steven Bahre often willing to drop in to allow midfielders and wide players that opportunity to break into the box.
Barnsley have won their last four away trips to bottom half opposition, three of which came by a margin of three goals – a similar trend may continue at Home Park.
Barnsley to win -1 handicap –