A run of six wins in a row – and 13 unbeaten in the league – has given The Millers a genuine, though outside, chance of automatic promotion. They sit four points off second placed Wigan, in fourth, but The Latics have three games in hand.
After an impressive victory over top of the table Shrewsbury at the weekend, the next six fixtures for Paul Warne’s men are all against sides outside of the top 10 – the first of these being a Yorkshire Derby, at home to Doncaster, on Saturday. An away fixture at Wigan, on 14 April, could also prove critical.
Bradford, meanwhile, will hope to regain some of their earlier-season form, after a run of seven games without victory has seen them slip out of the playoffs. They currently sit at 8th.
In the Championship, Sheffield Wednesday’s stuttering league campaign appears to be over, but they are still in the FA Cup. They are comfortably mid-table, at 16th, but this marks a hugely disappointing season given their run to the playoffs last year.
Equally, despite sitting top of the league earlier in the season, promotion may be one bridge too far for a Sheffield United side back in the second tier for the first time in six seasons. Leeds also appear to have faded, although new manager Paul Heckingbottom will hope to turn their fortunes around.
Relegation-threatened Barnsley announced the appointment of Jose Morais, who worked as assistant to Jose Mourinho at clubs such as Inter Milan and Real Madrid, as manager last week. They sit 22nd, but could move out of the relegation zone with a win at home to bottom-placed Burton on Tuesday, if other results go their way. Like Leeds, they will be hoping for the kind of injection of impetus (and form) which often attends the arrival of a new manager.
Yorkshire’s only top-flight contender, Huddersfield Town, faces a battle to remain in the Premier League. The 13th to 19th placed teams are separated by just three points, with Town sitting one point above the relegation zone. They ended a five-match match losing streak with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Bournemouth last weekend.
Should Bradford and Barnsley turn their form around, and Rotherham maintain theirs, then the 18/19 Championship league table could soon be home to a septuplet of Yorkshire-based teams.
We hope, however, that Huddersfield Town will maintain their Premier League status. Perhaps, even – if either team can string a series of consecutive wins together – Sheffield United and Leeds might finish in playoff positions. The latter, as three-time winners of English football’s top-flight, are viewed as something of a sleeping giant, and have now been outside of the Premier League for 13 seasons.