Today, Reading continue their Championship journey with a home game against Championship rivals Barnsley.

Below we look at what you should know about the Tykes ahead of the fixture.

Recent Background

Barnsley returned to the second tier in 2019 following a promotion under Daniel Stendel in 2018/19.

They have bounced between the second and third tiers regularly over the last decade, being promoted or relegated four times since 2013.

Having had one season of top flight football in 1997/98, the club have had more seasons in England’s second division than any other team.

Last season Gerhard Struber managed to pull off the seemingly impossible and kept the side in the league despite the team being in the bottom three from matchday six until the second half of the final match-day with a win over play-off finalists Brentford.

Since the start of the 2020/21 campaign the club lost their opening league encounter 1-0 to Luton Town, but two wins in the League Cup, against Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough, means they have a match-up with giants Chelsea in round three.

Key Players

A side with one of the youngest squad’s in the league, Barnsley remain difficult to judge due to the unpredictability of the team.

Goalkeeper Jack Walton has experience at this level and is part of the British spine of players that regularly play at Oakwell.

The back four conceded just 69 goals, less than all of the teams immediately around them in the table.

The key player of the whole squad is Alex Mowatt. The midfield general captains the side and is the heartbeat of the team. He missed just three matches in the league last season, helping to drag his team out of trouble and into another season of Championship football.

Going forward, Cauley Woodrow and Connor Chaplin’s goals were vital in the team’s revival last season. 29 goals between the two accounts for almost 60% of the team’s 49 league goals, with only Middlesbrough scoring less with 48.

This spine, filled out with key compatriots of Struber such as Michael Sollbauer and Patrick Schmidt, managed to complete a great escape on the final match of the season and now have another season of Championship football to look forward to.


The sides have met 76 times, with 30 Reading wins, 20 draws and 26 Barnsley wins.

The first meeting was back in 1926, a 2-2 draw at Oakwell in Division Two.

Last season the game finished 1-1 in South Yorkshire, with Lucas Joao cancelling out Woodrow’s opener.

Royals won the reverse game 2-0 at the Madejski, the last match in Reading to allow fans in before lockdown.

Goals from Yakou Meite and George Puscas sealed the win.

Barnsley have failed to beat Reading in six attempts, last winning 3-1 in 2014.


According to Sky Bet, Reading are 7/5 for a win, Barnsley are 19/10 and a draw is 12/5, with all odds being correct at time of writing.