PREDICTIONS: Sheffield United to beat Doncaster in South Yorkshire derby plus wins for Barnsley and Chesterfield

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Just a few games this week because of the international break, but there is the prospect of a South Yorkshire derby to look forward to as Sheffield United travel to Doncaster.

Here, as usual, Chris Holt attempts to predict the outcomes of this weekend’s game, starting tonight at Oakwell.

BARNSLEY v Colchester United (Friday)

The Reds look like they’ve found a little bit of consistency now and last week’s FA Cup thumping of Burton Albion will have certainly made people sit up and take notice. Goals hadn’t really been a problem of late anyway, but it’s the performances at the back that have been most impressive. And that backline will need to be on its game against the Us with Freddie Sears one of the division’s most dangerous strikers. Colchester’s 18th place in the League One table is probably a little harsh on them as they have picked up some very good results throughout the season so far, but Danny Wilson’s men should have enough to take another win

Prediction: Barnsley 2 Colchester United 0

MATCH PREVIEW: International call-ups give Danny Wilson a selection poser


Aside from the other matter that is hanging over Sheffield United at the minute, the talk again this week has been about the lack of goals in Nigel Clough’s side. Marc McNulty’s unfortunate injury, which came about on a night out in Edinburgh, hasn’t helped matters, especially with Michael Higdon also out. Clough has been attempting to address the low numbers in the goals-for tally but it’s unlikely to happen before making the short trip to Doncaster. Rovers have issues of their own...namely international calls and ineligible players in his defence. Luke McCullough will be making a quick trip back from being involved in the Northern Ireland squad who take on Romania in Bucharest on Friday, in the hope of being fit and able to play, while Andy Butler can’t play against his parent club. A potential makeshift defence against a team who struggle in front of goal...doesn’t sound like it’ll be a classic.

Prediction: Doncster Rovers 0 Sheffield United 1

MATCH PREVIEW: Louis Reed backs Diego to be Blades goal king

PAUL DICKOV COLUMN: Derby could be just the tonic for both teams


Last week’s FA Cup tie at Braintree came at just the right time for Spireites as it ended a winless run and got them back amongst the goals again. So, confidence should be back in Paul Cook’s team for the trip to bottom-of-the-table Crewe, who held Sheffield United to a draw in the cup last Saturday. The beauty of last week for Chesterfield was that it allowed the pressure of the league to be put on the back-burner for a short time, but now they must take that comfortable, carefree attitude into the ‘bread and butter’. Could be a bit nervy but I’d back the visitors to take their first league win since beating the Blades at the start of October.

Prediction: Crewe 0 Chesterfield 1

MATCH PREVIEW: Charlie Raglan eyes a starting role against Crewe