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Match Previews


We take a closer look at tonight's opponents

20 February 2018

Match Previews


We take a closer look at tonight's opponents

20 February 2018

The Blues’ Sky Bet League Two season continues as they make the trip to the Hive to face Barnet tonight.

Keith Curle’s side will be keen to pick up another three points after getting back to winning ways against Chesterfield on Saturday.

But Barnet will prove a stern opposition and will themselves be keen to build on some positive results against high-flying opposition of late.

We put the Bees under the spotlight ahead of our trip to the capital:

Bottom of the Pile

The Bees currently sit bottom of Sky Bet League Two having won just six games all season and, with relegation a distinct possibility, manager Rossi Eames was replaced by Graham Westley.

And Westley has managed to spark something of an upturn in fortunes, with Barnet picking up some eye-catching results as of late.

High-flying Notts County were beaten 1-0 at the Hive, while Saturday saw promotion chasing Accrington Stanley held to a 1-1 draw in a game in which the Bees could have snatched all three points.

More results like that, and Barnet may well climb up the table.

Home Comforts

A key hallmark of Westley’s reign so far has been the Bees’ impressive home form.

The last three games at the Hive have seen Barnet pick up a win and two draws, all against sides in promotion contention.

Westley will know that home form will be key if survival is to be achieved, and he’ll be desperate to see his side make it four games unbeaten on home soil when the Cumbrians come to town.

What Does History Tell Us?

United and Barnet have met regularly in the last few years, but have only faced-off 26 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 six meetings with the Bees while claiming three victories in that time.

Watch highlights from the 1-1 home draw from earlier in the season here:

We Like A Trip To Barnet…

You have to go back to 1999 for the last time United lost at Barnet, with the Blues having gone five games unbeaten at Underhill and the Hive since the turn of the millennium.

We have only made two visits to the Bees’ current home – with a 1-0 win last season preceded by a goalless draw in January 2016.

Curle will be keen to see his side extended their fine form in the capital during Tuesday’s meeting.

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.

- Curtis Weston – Now into his sixth year at the Bees, all-action midfielder Weston joined Barnet in 2012 after an impressive spell at Gillingham. With an FA Cup runners-up medal from his time at Millwall, Weston offers some valuable experience to the Barnet side and his versatility in midfield is a great asset for Westley. Having now made over 200 appearances for Barnet, the 31-year-old has become a fans’ favourtie and will look to dictate the game at the Hive.

- Shaquille Coulthirst – Started the season in blistering form and, with pace and power, Coulthirst is certainly one to watch. 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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