2 dilemmas facing Markus Schopp at Barnsley as opening game v Cardiff edges closer

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Barnsley will be looking to challenge for promotion into the Premier League once again next term, after surprising many during the 2020/21 season. 

The Tykes finished fifth in the Championship table whilst under the management of Valerien Ismael, but fell short in their efforts to win promotion into the top-flight, after a defeat to Swansea City in their play-off semi-final.

It’s been a summer of change at Oakwell, with Ismael departing the club in favour of a move to West Brom, whilst Alex Mowatt has followed him to The Hawthorns, and is likely to leave a sizeable void in the heart of the Barnsley midfield.

Markus Schopp has been appointed as Ismael’s replacement, and he’ll be eager to get off to a winning start in the 2021/22 campaign, with that new season edging closer to getting underway.

Barnsley have a tricky test up first, as they prepare to take on Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City side, who will have promotion ambitions of their own this term.

We take a look at TWO dilemmas facing Markus Schopp at Barnsley ahead of their opening game against Cardiff City.

Who replaces Alex Mowatt? 

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Mowatt had been a key member of the Barnsley team since signing from Leeds United back in 2017. He captained the side for the 2020/21 season, as the Yorkshire-based side narrowly missed out on promotion into the Premier League.

Mowatt played his part in that campaign as well, as he scored eight goals, whilst also being on hand to provide seven assists for his Barnsley team-mates.

But after moving to West Brom this summer, Markus Schopp will have a tough decision on his hands, as he looks to find a suitable replacement for Mowatt in the starting XI.

The likes of Jasper Moon and Aapo Halme could potentially be contenders to replace him for their season opener against Cardiff City.

Can you score full marks on this 22-question Barnsley quiz?

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What year were Barnsley founded?





A change in formation? 

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Barnsley often lined up in a 5-2-2-1 formation during the 2020/21 season, and their high-intensity style of play caused all sorts of problems for a number of Championship teams.

But with Markus Schopp replacing Valerien Ismael in charge of the Tykes, it’ll be interesting to see whether he changes that style of play, or even their formation moving forwards.

They may look to utilise the likes of Victor Adeboyejo on a more regular basis, although that would mean a potential change in shape to what they were used to last term.

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