Weblog: The football punter

Stendel's Tykes can keep up fine run at Doncaster

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Sky Bet League One highflyers Barnsley have continued piling up the points despite losing top scorer Kieffer Moore to a season-ending head injury and they may be too strong for promotion-chasing Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Moore contributed 16 goals in 27 league matches but his involvement in the campaign was curtailed in early February following a sickening collision with Gillingham defender Gabriel Zakuani.

But Barnsley have responded by claiming three wins and three draws to strengthen their position in the automatic promotion places.

They were unfortunate to draw 0-0 at home to Sunderland on Tuesday having bossed the game for long periods and won the shot count 14 to six.

But the result maintained Barnsley's four-point gap to the Black Cats and, after taking on Doncaster, they do not have to face any more of the top six teams.

Donny are hanging onto the last playoff place despite failing to win any of their last five league games.

They came from behind to draw 1-1 at eighth-placed Blackpool on Tuesday and are strengthened by the return from suspension of 18-goal top scorer John Marquis, who was sent off during last Saturday's 2-0 defeat at basement boys Wimbledon.

But Donny's confidence has been ebbing away and their remaining schedule, which include trips to Luton and Sunderland, looks far from straightforward.

On-loan Leeds forward Mallik Wilks has been Doncaster's brightest spark in recent weeks, scoring four goals in his last eight appearances, but Marquis has not scored for more than a month and will need to rediscover his A-game if Doncaster are to keep their promotion dream alive.

While Doncaster look unhealthily reliant on Marquis, Barnsley have shown they can cope without a handful of key players.

Midfield regulars Cameron McGeehan and Jacob Brown have missed the last two games through suspension and will be absent against Doncaster but Barnsley continue to play their high-intensity, slick brand of football to great effect.

Daniel Stendel's side haven't lost a league game since a 1-0 reverse at Wycombe in early December and look well worth backing with the draw no bet.

Barnsley draw no bet

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Match in Focus


Kazakhstan v Scotland

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Kazakhstan have conceded 89 goals in their last 40 qualification matches.
Expert verdict
Nearly 21 years have passed since the Tartan Army last followed Scotland to a major international tournament.However, there is a quiet confidence that the Scots can end that barren run. The Kazakhs are ranked 77 places below Scotland and have won only three of their last 40 major tournament qualifiers.