League One’s two most in-form teams will do battle in tomorrow’s multi-million pound showdown at Wembley.
Victory in the play-off final would seal a return to the second tier of English football and boost Barnsley’s bank balance by up to £6 million.
The Reds and their opponents Millwall have topped the form table in the second half of the season, losing just three games each.
But there can only be one winner under the iconic arch tomorrow, and caretaker Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is expecting a stern test from a physical side.
“We know we’re going to face a tough task,” he admitted. “They’re there on merit, and along with ourselves and a couple of others, have been the form teams in 2016.
“They deserve to be in the final and like us they’ll be trying everything they possibly can to go up to the next league.
“It’s two effective teams. They’ve got a style of football that suits their best players, and they’ve got key players in key positions who are experienced and in good form.
“They’ve got an identity as a football club and they try and represent their fans in the best possible way. That’s by winning football matches so that’s what they’ve been doing.
“They pose their own threats - unique threats sometimes in the way they do it - but we’ll have to be ready for that and then impose our game on them.
“Since the turn of the year we’ve been really good. Those games have gone but we can take our knowledge and application and what it’s taken to win the game.”
The Reds have stormed into tomorrow’s season finale in superb style, scoring ten in their last three games and going unbeaten in their last nine.
They beat Millwall home and away in the league, with Lewin Nyatanga netting an injury-time winner in a 3-2 thriller in August, and star men Sam Winnall and Adam Hammill on the scoresheet in a 2-1 win to kick off 2016 in style.
Bar long-term injury absentee Ryan Williams, Heckingbottom has a full strength squad to select from for the biggest game of his managerial career and is expected to name the same starting XI for the sixth game running.
He added: “Everyone can probably guess how we’re going to play and what we’re going to do, but it’s about us being as good as we can possibly be at it.
“If we need to make slight alterations we will do, but we’re not going to change things drastically.”
“We’re comfortable with how we do things and what’s expected of the players; they’re understanding that and that’s why I think we’re doing well.”