If Charlton manage to leave Oakwell on Saturday with three points they will become the first team to do so since Millwall seventeen months ago in March 2018.
Barnsley went through the whole of last season unbeaten at home (15 wins & 8 draws) and they continued this impressive run by beating Fulham 1-0 on the first day of The Championship season. They also boasted the best defensive record in the EFL last year (39 goals conceded). So, despite the fact that the bookies expect Barnsley to be a bottom six team this season, Charlton face a daunting task at Oakwell.
The Tykes are a much changed squad with twelve new additions. From the final match last season only Mamadou Thiam, Cauley Woodrow, Cameron McGeehan and Alex Mowatt were in the starting eleven against Fulham. The departure of Kieffer Moore (17 goals last term) to Wigan is significant but manager Daniel Stendel has looked to Austria for a replacement - signing Patrick Schmidt form Admira Wacker on deadline day. More familiar to Charlton supporters will be Mallik Wilkes who joined Barnsley from Leeds this summer but who spent last season on loan at Doncaster. He scored the equaliser up there in the 1-1 draw in March and played in both play-off ties, although he was substituted before the penalty shoot-out.
Charlton certainly rode their luck last weekend but they thoroughly deserved the hard-earned 3-1 win over Stoke. The performances of Cullen, Gallagher and Williams were sensational and new signing Jonathan Zeko looked (as Lee Bowyer predicted) very exciting. We shouldn't read much into the cup defeat by Forest Green (Barnsley lost 0-3 at home to Carlisle) so there is no reason why we shouldn't approach Saturday with confidence. Our rivals Sheffield Wednesday face a tough trip to Millwall so by 5 O'clock we could be top of The Championship for the first time in nineteen years.