After the international break we’ve a full quota of teams featuring this weekend, with Sheffield Wednesday’s Yorkshire derby trip to Huddersfield getting things started with an early kick off on Saturday.
Here Chris Holt has another go at attempting to predict the results...
Huddersfield v SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY (12.15)
A new face, in Lewis McGugan, appears to have lifted the spirits of Owls fans, many of whom had been getting a little down in the dumps at the run of poor results and even more so at the lack of goals. McGugan, on his day, is certainly capable of providing a creative spark and up front, you would think that Stevie May’s confidence will have been boosted considerably after coming off the bench to gain his first international cap for Scotland against England at Celtic Park this week. Huddersfield’s home form isn’t bad and indeed they registered an impressive 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest there early this month. Still, I can see this trip to west Yorkshire providing a potential turning point for Stuart Gray’s men.
PREDICTION: Huddersfield 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1
ROTHERHAM UNITED v Birmingham City
Steve Evans admitted the international break came at a good time for his side as they rested a few weary legs after a couple of heavy defeats to Middlesbrough and Reading and a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Wednesday at Hillsborough. You could say that this may be the perfect match, then, given where Birmingham are currently in the league (one from bottom). However since shipping in EIGHT against Bournemouth at the end of October, the Blues have improved and are unbeaten in their last three, albeit two of those being 0-0 draws. Score draw this time.
PREDICTION: Rotherham United 1 Birmingham City 1
SHEFFIELD UNITED v Oldham Athletic
The return of Marc McNulty - even with a facemask - will give Nigel Clough a welcome option up front but he could do worse than to stick as close as possible to the side that beat Crewe in the cup in midweek. Ryan Flynn got the goals there with the system offering the attacking midfielders the opportunity to push up into forward roles working a treat. With everything that’s gone on off the pitch in recent weeks the players deserve credit for not allowing themselves to be distracted by the task at hand and I envisage another win and perhaps a comfortable one, at that, at Bramall Lane.
PREDICTION: Sheffield United 3 Oldham 1
Rochdale v DONCASTER ROVERS
Can’t see there being too many goals in this one. Dale are reasonably solid at the back and Rovers have tightened considerably since signing Andy Butler on loan from Sheffield United. Last week’s South Yorkshire derby defeat aside, Paul Dickov’s men have been playing well and will be buoyed by hitting four in the cup this week, although of course it was against Weston-super-Mare. Dickov would quite probably settle for a point here.
PREDICTION: Rochdale 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
CHESTERFIELD v BARNSLEY
A derby, of sorts, and one that may be relished more by the away side than the Spireites. The Reds finally look like they’ve gained some consistency and in Sam Winnall and loan star Devante Cole, they’ve got one of the most feared strike forces in the division. For Paul Cook’s men, Armand Gnanduillet has been recalled as the manager attempts to add firepower to a team that - a 6-0 win over Braintree in the FA Cup aside - has struggled for goals lately. I think that Cook will be looking on enviously at Danny Wilson’s front pairing come the end of the day.
PREDICTION: Chesterfield 0 Barnsley 2