Barnsley FC’s Ferran Sibila aiming to feel at home at Sheffield United

NO-ONE can say that Ferran Sibila is not well versed in derbies.

In his time in Swedish football with Poya Asbaghi at IFK Gothenburg, they were a regular part of the scene, just as they have been for Yorkshire clubs over many years in the Championship.

Barnsley make the short trip to Bramall Lane this lunchtime, where they are seeking to emulate their last two results against White Rose opposition, which have resulted in wins over Middlesbrough and Hull City.

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Reds No 2 Sibila said: “In Gothenburg, there are also different derbies and a lot of derbies because one is with Malmo – they are the two biggest clubs in the history of Sweden – and another is against AIK, which is the main team from Stockholm.

Ferran Sibila: Barnsley No 2 is no stranger when it comes to football derbies. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“Then, there are derbies in the same region and city. At Gothenburg, it seemed we had one derby and then another in the next week.”

Barnsley have won just once on their past eight visits to United, but arrive in form and having had a day’s extra preparation for today’s fixture against injury-hit hosts.

But Sibila has issued a warning all the same, with the Reds’ home form having been rather more consistent than their statistics on the road throughout this term, with 21 of their 28 points in 2021-22 so far having arrived at Oakwell.

The Spaniard said: “To go onto their home pitch, we will have to give a perfect performance if we want to get some points.

“At home, with our supporters, it helps us a lot. But away, we know it is different. We need to put the game in the same emotional level like we were at home so we have the right expectation.

“If we go away and expect it to be more difficult, then that expectation will happen. We have to go there as if it is our home ground and give a good fight and performance.”

As for the main specific threats which Barnsley will face today, Sibila provides a quick answer in response.

He continued:“The number 27 (Morgan Gibbs-White) is a player who is good in between the lines and can get behind as well, so everybody knows that he is a big threat.”