Almost all of our teams proved Chris Holt wrong last week with only Sheffield United’s win giving The Star’s predictor a tick in the ‘right’ box. Here, he has another go at calling the outcomes of Saturday’s fixtures, with the pick of the bunch a South Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane.
SHEFFIELD UNITED v BARNSLEY
The Blades are on a fine run of form and it’s reminiscent of that in which they went on shortly after Nigel Clough took over as manager a year ago. They’re battling, fighting, grinding out wins on all fronts and moving onto the next one. But one of their toughest tests in recent times will arrive in the form of Danny Wilson’s Reds who haven’t been racking up the points that their performances deserve. Barnsley remain guilty of throwing away leads and did it again last week against high-flying Bristol City, but at least managed to eke out a draw this time. United have a habit of going behind but coming back and if you go with the trend, you’d expect the Reds to open the scoring and the Blades to eventually win the match. I’ll go with that.
PREDICTION: Sheffield United 2 Barnsley 1
Charlton Athletic v SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
If this isn’t a draw I’ll be stunned. In fact, I’ll be surprised if fans at The Valley even see a goal on Saturday. Just three points separate the teams, neither are exactly prolific in front of goal, though Charlton’s goal difference is ONE better. At the time of publishing, Wednesday are chasing a new recruit who may be in place in time for this game which may make a difference, especially if it’s someone to provide a creative spark so dearly lacking in the Owls’ side. If there are no new faces, then I can only think it’ll be more of the same.
PREDICTION: Charlton 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0
ROTHERHAM UNITED v Middlesbrough
While Wednesday will continue to try looking up, they’d be worth keeping an eye over their shoulder at their neighbours. The Millers are quietly going about their business, safely in mid-table (the same distance points-wise from the relegation zone as they are the play offs) but have shown at times this season that they are capable of pushing forward a little further. If results go their way Steve Evans men could leapfrog Wednesday by Saturday tea-time which would bring more than a wry smile around Rotherham. However, Boro are one of the best teams in the Championship at present, losing just once - to Wolves - throughout September and October. A tough one for Millers but home advantage might be enough to earn them a draw.
PREDICTION: Rotherham 1 Middlesbrough 1
Bradford v DONCASTER ROVERS
This might be jumping the gun a little bit, but I have a sense that Rovers may have turned a corner. Their 0-0 draw with MK Dons last week was hard fought and that clean sheet, which perhaps not coincidentally came following the arrival of Andy Butler on loan from Sheffield United, was their first since another 0-0 draw, with Crawley, back on September 16. That’s something to build on and their cause was again helped considerably this week with goalkeeper Sam Johnstone coming back on loan from Manchester United. That signing has created a bit of a buzz, as well, amongst fans and I think a first league win since the start of October could be coming in this Yorkshire derby.
PREDICTION: Bradford 0 DONCASTER ROVERS 1
CHESTERFIELD v Yeovil
The wheels have fallen off at Chesterfield and Paul Cook is doing his best to weld them back on as quickly as he can to prevent the bandwagon which roared up the table early on this season, from sliding further downhill. The midfield appears to have lot a bit of spark which is costing the frontmen and at the back, they continue to leak goals which has been the case all season but now they don’t have as many going in the other end. A win on Saturday would be the perfect fillip and they should really get it.
PREDICTION: Chesterfield 2 Yeovil 1