At the business end of The Championship and League 1 campaigns, Sheffield United, Barnsley and Rotherham are set to play a pivotal set of Tuesday fixtures.
All three sides still have much to play for this season at both ends of the table.
Sheffield United vs Burton Albion
Fresh from their uninspiring 0-0 draw at Ipswich, the Blades will be hopeful of putting more pressure on their play-off rivals by beating 23rd place Burton Albion at Bramall Lane.
Chris Wilder’s side – currently in 9th place – will move just two points off the Middlesbrough in 6th with a win tomorrow night.
United have been given a welcome boost, as key players Mark Duffy and top-scorer Leon Clarke are expected to be fit to face Burton, having missed Saturday’s draw.
The Blades have been inconsistent of late – winning two, losing two and drawing one of their last five matches – and Wilder will know his team will have to improve if they are to finish in the top 6.
Burton Albion have their Championship future to play for – and despite their modest league position – are far from pushovers.
Sitting in the bottom three with Birmingham City and Sunderland, Albion are just two points from safety, and this clash against Sheffield United is their game in hand over many their relegation rivals.
Burton have lost just once by more a single goal since mid-January, and their most recent outing was an impressive 0-0 draw against 7th place Bristol City, however two goals in their last five matches is simply relegation form.
Sheffield United’s quality should shine through tomorrow evening, but expect Burton to be spirited as ever.
JUS NEWS PREDICTS: Sheffield United 1-0 Burton Albion
Barnsley vs Norwich City
Another fixture which could massively shape the Championship relegation battle – Barnsley will be hopeful of putting daylight between themselves and the bottom three.
Sitting in 21st place – two points above Birmingham and Burton in 22nd and 23rd respectively – Barnsley will know how important this game in hand is to pull clear of danger.
Championship player of the month Oliver McBurnie has scored five goals in seven games for the Tykes, and will be crucial in this season’s run-in if Barnsley hope to survive.
The on-loan striker from Swansea has formed a promising partnership with the behemoth Kieffer Moore up-front.
Manager Jose Morais came in last month and has already made some big decisions, most significantly dropping long-term number one goalkeeper and vice-captain Adam Davies.
Morais has won four points from a possible 15 so far during his tenure, but a visit from Norwich City could be the perfect fixture to pull clear of the relegation zone.
As for Norwich, how does one describe their season?
Drab, dull, dire. Not much else comes to mind.
The acquisition of German Manager Daniel Farke in the summer looked promising – and despite the influx of German ‘talent’ into their squad – Norwich sit 14th in The Championship with little to play for.
This may prove to be a great chance for Barnsley to secure all three points, against a side whose only motivation this season is to finish above their East Anglian rivals Ipswich (where they also look set to fall short).
Norwich haven’t won in six matches, and Morais should be licking his lips at the prospect of facing a Canaries side ‘on the beach’.
JUS NEWS PREDICTS: Barnsley 3-1 Norwich
MK Dons vs Rotherham United
Down in League 1, things are getting just as tight. Rotherham had a 14-match unbeaten run ended on the weekend by relegation-threatened Rochdale, but Paul Warne’s side are still excellently placed to finish in the play-offs.
Nine points clear of 7th with 11 games left, they will fancy their chances to enter the play-off lottery.
Will Vaulks and Richie Towell have formed a fantastic partnership in the centre of midfield, the latter having an exceptional season, on-loan from Premier League side Brighton.
The Millers are probably too far from the automatic promotion spots, but at this stage of the season, play-offs are the bare minimum.
As for everyone’s favourite club, MK Dons, things are looking bleak.
Second bottom, seven points from safety and no league win since December, the Dons are staring relegation in the face.
Manager Dan Micciche is keen to sign Nigel Reo-Coker (yes, that one), but it is an acquisition which will be unlikely to turn their fortunes around.
If Rotherham are serious promotion contenders, they should win games like this.
JUS NEWS PREDICTS: MD Dons 0-2 Rotherham