Swansea City and Barnsley will square off in the first leg of the EFL Championship play-offs semifinal Monday, May 17, at Oakwell Stadium.
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In the United States, the match (3:15 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Barnsley vs Swansea City live on ESPN+ right here:
ESPN+ has every remaining EFL Championship playoffs match, as well as dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month, which works out to over 30 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Barnsley vs Swansea City live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Barnsley vs Swansea City Preview
Fewer teams have had a more rags to riches-type story than Barnsley’s of late. They avoided relegation last season, and after a series of fateful events, they now have a chance to be promoted into the top flight.
Manager Valerien Ismael took over mid-season after former manager Gerhard Struber headed to the MLS to coach the New York Red Bulls, and the team gained momentum shortly after that. Barnsley scored wins over the likes of Brentford and Bournemouth earlier this year and now it will have one of its bigger matches in club history.
“We are the underdogs when you see the four teams in the play-offs, we are,” Ismael said heading into the match. “The other teams have better players, bigger squads, than us, better players in depth in the squad – but we have our principles, our desire, we have our belief and the players raise their own performance, they discover their own greatness and mentally we are really strong and that’s why on the pitch we can compete but on the paper we are clearly underdog, because it was not the expectation that Barnsley are where we are in the play-off spot, but we are here due to our performance on the pitch.”
While a spot in the Premiere League is at stake for Barnsley, winning won’t be an easy task. Swansea is 2-0 against them this season, and has gone 16-0 against them since 1983. Still, Swansea has won just three of its last 11 regular season games, so it could be a vulnerable unit.
Swansea City has flirted with a promotion at times this season, but a few too many ups and downs, including a four-game skid this past spring, kept that from happening. Led by talented strikers Andre Ayew and Jamal Lowe, Swansea fell to Watford, 2-0, on May 8 in its most recent match, but manager Steve Cooper thinks his team’s experience could make the difference here.
“Conor Hourihane, for example, has had a lot of play-off experience, some of it at Barnsley. Hopefully the players use that experience wisely. But it’s not just the play-offs. It’s the bigger games in general, that’s what experience is,” Cooper said.
“They are obviously bigger games on a bigger stage than normal,” the Swansea gaffer added. “It’s about focusing on the performance and not letting the scrutiny on the games seep in. It’s important how you manage the first and the second legs and the differences they can give you.”
Here’s a look at the projected starting lineups for both teams:
Barnsley possible starting lineup: Collins, Andersen, Helik, Sollbauer, Brittain, Palmer, Mowatt, Styles, Chaplin, Dike, Woodrow
Swansea City possible starting lineup: Woodman, Roberts, Bennett, Guehi, Manning, Hourihane, Grimes, Fulton, Lowe, Cullen, Ayew