After 10 days without a game, Leicester City return to action on Tuesday night as they travel to face Barnsley at Oakwell in the Sky Bet Championship.
Wigan Athletic’s involvement in the FA Cup meant Nigel Pearson’s Foxes had the weekend off, but they will surely be raring to get back into action on Tuesday, when they have a chance to move 16 points clear of third place.
Back-to-back 3-0 home wins over Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic mean confidence is high in the camp of the league leaders as they look to complete a league double over the relegation threatened Tykes.
Other than long-term absentees Sean St. Ledger (knee) and Tom Hopper (shin), the only injury concern for the manager is Lloyd Dyer (Achilles), who is likely to miss the trip after also sitting out the victory over Charlton. Paul Konchesky will also serve the last game of a three match ban.
A fantastic 1-0 victory over promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest at the weekend not only lifted the mood at Oakwell, but it also lifted Danny Wilson’s Barnsley off the foot of the table.
Former Bayern Munich man Dale Jennings netted the only goal of the match to snatch a deserved victory and move them to within just two points of safety with a game in hand.
It has been Barnsley’s home form that has been their savior recently, having not lost in the league at Oakwell this year. It’s home form City know all about too, having been well-beaten 2-0 at Oakwell towards the end of last season.
Tykes boss Danny Wilson has a relatively fully fit squad to choose from for the match, with Marcus Pedersen and Bobby Hassell the only slight doubts. Jim O’Brien returned to midfield from illness for the win over Forest.
Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson urged his side to maintain their high standards after last weekend’s win over Charlton, saying: “I was very pleased with the result and the performance in particular.
“I keep saying that if we get the performance right then more often than not the result will come. This was a very good example of that where we played well and the result came because of that.
“We’ve got 13 games left and we’ve produced a lead, which is very satisfying. But we’ve got to make sure that our levels of performance and our consistency with results remain as they are so far.
“We don’t have to set a target and say ‘that will do’, we’ve just got to make sure that our targets remain high.”
A delighted Danny Wilson said after the victory at home to Notts Forest: "Not only the win was important but the performance as well after last week.
"Giving something back to the fans was a major, major priority. We didn't see the true us last week.
"We went a long way to put it right. I have to say the fans were as good as we were.
"The last 20 minutes was a bit nervy but they didn't show that. They got behind us and got us through it.”
Last Three Meetings
City 2 Barnsley 1
Sky Bet Championship
Saturday 28 September, 2013
Goals: Nugent 50, pen 62; Scotland 73
Barnsley 2 City 0
Sky Bet Championship
Monday 1 April, 2013
Goals: Keane og 4, O’Grady 40
City 2 Barnsley 2
Sky Bet Championship
Saturday 8 December, 2012
Goals: Knockaert 9, Vardy 90; Dawson 27, Noble-Lazarus 39
With 11 goals in the Championship for The Tykes this season, Chris O’Grady will undoubtedly be his side’s main threat on Tuesday night as he looks to once again score against his former club.
The 28-year-old Academy Graduate made his Leicester City debut in a 2-0 win over Grimsby Town back in April 2003 and after leaving the Foxes four years later, has gone on to forge a career for himself in the Football League.
Since leaving City for Rotherham in 2007, O’Grady has had spells at Oldham, Bury, Bradford, Stockport, Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday, but since moving to Barnsley (his 11th club in total), the striker seems to have settled well.
That is something City will testify to after he scored the Tykes’ second goal in the 2-0 defeat of Leicester in April last year. Standing at 6ft 2ins, O’Grady can be quite the handful when in form, so City will need to keep a close eye on him on Tuesday if they are to succeed in keeping him off the score sheet.