After last week’s FA Cup exploits, our teams are back in league action this week and most of them appear to be looking up.
Here, Chris Holt makes his predictions for the weekend’s action.
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY v Wolves
It’s amazing what a couple of wins can do. A few weeks ago there was a cloud hovering over Hillsborough with some fans starting to question the stewardship of Stuart Gray. Now talk of a play off push has sneaked in to some conversations as the Owls lie just four points off the pace. It would be a big shock if Wednesday were to finish up among the top six but at least they focusing on the right end of the table. Wolves, by contrast are in poor form and I expect the home side to make it three in a row for the first time under Gray.
Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Wolves 0
ROTHERHAM UNITED v Nottingham Forest
Like Wednesday, the Millers have a little bit more of a spring in their step compared to a couple of weeks ago with a few loan signings giving Steve Evans men a boost. If they perform as they did against Cardiff last week then there are plenty of reasons to be encouraged and while there have been a few too many draws of late, they could get another one here against a hot-and-cold Forest.
Prediction: Rotherham 1 Nottingham Forest 1
Fleetwood Town v SHEFFIELD UNITED
A trip into something of the unknown for United this week as they travel to the coast to take on Fleetwood Town - a surprise package this season. The Blades arrested a very minor slump last week by beating Plymouth 3-0 in the FA Cup and they’ll hope to build on in comparison to results this season was a relatively emphatic win. It won’t be easy but they’ll be coming back with the three points.
Prediction: Fleetwood Town 0 Sheffield United 1
CHESTERFIELD v Bradford City
It’s not been a nice week at the Proact and it really should have been. The glory of a superb win over MK Dons was diluted by fears that they could be thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player in the victory. Only the players know if they’ve been effected by this and they face a Bradford team in very good form. The misery could continue.
Prediction: Chesterfield 1 Bradford City 3
DONCASTER ROVERS v Gillingham
On the face of it, this should be a banker for Rovers - at home against a team just outside of the relegation zone on goal difference. But the Gills are unbeaten in four in all competitions and Paul Dickov’s men haven’t won at home since beating Chesterfield in September. They need to fix that before it becomes a major issue if it hasn’t already. Today could be the day.
Prediction: Doncaster 2 Gillingham 1
Walsall v BARNSLEY
The Reds came in for a fair amount of criticism from their fans last week after being held to a draw by Conference side Chester FC but these things happen in the Cup and it’s best not to dwell too much on them. The bigger worry is replacing Sam Winnall’s goals. Thankfully for Danny Wilson, Devante Cole is back and he needs to come up with the goods. Still may only be enough for a point though.
Prediction: Walsall 1 Barnsley 1