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We take a closer look at this weekend's visitors

15 September 2017

The Blues’ Sky Bet League Two season continues this weekend as Barnet make the trip to Brunton Park.

Keith Curle’s side will be keen to pick up another three points as they come back to their home turf.

But Barnet will prove a stern opposition and will themselves be keen to bounce back having lost to Exeter on Tuesday.

We put the Bees under the spotlight ahead of their trip to Cumbria:

Eye-Catching Start

While Barnet’s start hasn’t been perfect, they’ve certainly picked up some strong results which have made the rest of the division sit up and take notice.

An opening day draw at newly-promoted Forest Green was followed up by victories over Peterborough in the Carabao Cup and promotion-chasing Luton at the Hive.

Similarly strong triumphs against Swindon and Cambridge - with 4-1 and 3-1 score lines respectively - have seen the Bees climb to 12th in the league.

But while these victories have been impressive, Barnet have lost as many as they have won in the league this season and will be eager to pick up more points as soon as possible.

Injuries, Blows & Returns

Rossi Eames’ side will be without one of their more exciting attacking talents this weekend, with deadline day signing Dave Tarpey ruled out until the New Year with an ACL injury.

Tarpey, who joined from Maidenhead, netted 46 goals in all competitions last season and had already netted seven in six starts this campaign.

But now the striker faces a spell on the sidelines - although Barnet’s woes are slightly aided by the fact that the prolific John Akinde made his first start of the season last weekend and Eames will be keen to see Akinde hit his stride quickly.

What Does History Tell Us?

United and Barnet have met regularly in the last few years, but have only faced-off 25 times in total.

And there isn’t much to separate the two sides, with the Blues having won 11 of those meetings while Barnet have claimed nine victories.

Recent form has swung slightly in the favour of Keith Curle’s men, who are unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Bees while claiming three victories in that time.

Barnet Like A Trip to Brunton

While the Cumbrians have enjoyed more success against Barnet of late, previous results suggest that the Bees certainly don’t mind a trip to the North West.

Of our last six league meetings at Brunton Park, Barnet have claimed victory on three occasions while also earning a point via a 1-1 draw last season.

So it certainly seems that the Bees don’t mind the long trip to Cumbria, and they’ll be keen to continue their good record on Warwick Road this Saturday.

Highlights of the 1-0 away win last August are here:

Highlights of the 1-1 home draw last season are here:

Ones to Watch

+ Michael Nelson - An experienced centre back and current club captain, 37-year-old Nelson leads by example from the back and is a key part of the Bees’ strong backline. Having represented the likes of Hibernian, Norwich and Kilmarnock, Nelson has made over 550 career appearances with most of them coming above the fourth tier. His know-how and leadership qualities will be key for Barnet this season and will certainly serve to help a relatively young Barnet squad.

+ Jamal Campbell-Ryce - The pacy winger has started the season in blistering form and has netted twice this campaign - already beating his return in 2016/17. Another experienced head, Campbell-Ryce will be well-known to Keith Curle having played under him at Notts County. Despite having made just shy of 400 career appearances, the wideman hasn’t lost an ounce of pace and has the end product to match too. He’ll need to be watched carefully or he could provide Barnet’s front two with plenty of ammunition.

+ Shaquille Coulthirst - Another who has started the season in blistering form, the 22-year-old striker has netted six in his last four games including a hat-trick in the demolition of Swindon. The former Tottenham youngster spent time on loan at a number of lower league clubs before joining Peterborough in 2016 where he netted 7 goals before moving to the Hive on a free transfer this summer. He’s instantly repaid Barnet’s faith in him with some impressive displays thus far, and he’ll be looking to continue finding the back of the net.

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