AN all-Yorkshire affair between Bradford City and Sheffield United was the marquee fixture across the Broad Acres last weekend and there are two more choice White Rose encounters this weekend to seriously whet the appetite of punters.
Saturday sees South Yorkshire bragging rights at stake when Sheffield United host managerless Doncaster Rovers, while the following day, the Sky Sports cameras are at the Riverside Stadium where Middlesbrough welcome Leeds United, who boast a truly formidable record at the Teesside venue.
The weekend programme also sees Barnsley entertain League One high-fliers Gillingham, while there are also home assignments for Bradford City, who host Peterborough United in new Posh boss Graham Westley’s first game in charge, and Hull City, who will be aiming to maintain their unbeaten start to the league season at the KC against Blackburn Rovers.
Here’s four of the best this weekend.
1: Sheffield United v Doncaster Rovers (Saturday, 3pm)
You have to go back to February 2013 in the dying embers of Danny Wilson’s reign for the last time that the Blades lost three successive home matches at S2 and that unfortunate fate will befall them if they see their colours lowered by Rovers on Saturday - following consecutive losses to Bury and Colchester United.
History is not in struggling Rovers’ favour, mind with the club having won just once on 13 visits in the red and white half of Sheffield, with James O’Connor’s strike early in the second half giving Sean O’Driscoll’s side a relieving 1-0 win in January 2009 to move out of the Championship relegation zone.
Several recent clashes at the Lane between the pair have been eventful, with a thriller last season seeing the Blades prevail 3-2 to seal a seasonal double over Rovers, with Steve Davies getting the key third goal for the hosts.
Back in January 2011, another cracker saw the Blades stage a miraculous late fightback from 2-0 down following a brace of penalties for Billy Sharp, then in Rovers colours but very much in United red and white this Saturday.
Goals in the last four minutes from Daniel Bogdanovic and Rob Kozluk spared the Blades blushes.
After a haul of just one point from the last nine, the Blades are need of reacquainting themselves with the wins column, with Nigel Adkins preaching the importance of carrying on their momentum following their late rally at Bradford, which saw them turn around a 2-0 interval deficit to draw 2-2.
For Rovers, whose caretaker boss Rob Jones is still seeking his first victory in charge, a positive result will serve as a timely morale-booster following a difficult start to the season with the visitors worryingly positioned in the drop zone.
A hefty derby loss, on the other hand, would further deflate Rovers and leave fans contemplating a long autumn ahead.
2: Middlesbrough v Leeds United (Sunday, 1.15pm)
If Whites supporters could pick a favoured away ground, you would venture that the Riverside is pretty close to the top of the list.
All told, Leeds have lost there just once in two decades of visits to the Teesside venue - 13 matches overall and with the hosts, incredibly, having been in front for a total of just 43 minutes during that time.
An inspired display admirably led by Sol Bamba and Marco Silvestri thwarted the best Boro could throw at Leeds in the spring, with head coach Aitor Karanka having never enjoyed success in four matches in charge against Leeds, with his managerial bow coming at Elland Road when the Teessiders lost 2-1 in November 2013.
That said, upwardly-mobile and in-form Boro recently ended hoodoos with wins at the City Ground and Hillsborough and are now eyeing a noteworthy treble against a side whose scalp they prize only below north-east neighbours Sunderland and Newcastle United.
Leeds, for their part, will be comforted by their impressive form on the road throughout 2015 - and they head up the A1 boasting a five-match unbeaten away record in the Championship.
All told, they have lost just three league matches on their travels this calendar year in 15 outings, winning eight. Eye-catching, that.
3: Barnsley v Gillingham (Saturday, 3pm)
The Kent visitors are very much one of the surprise packages of League One and have already heaped untold misery upon Yorkshire since the start of the campaign.
The Gills walloped the Blades 4-0 on the opening day and triumphed at Valley Parade on August 18 - when Bradford manager Phil Parkinson ripped into his Bantams side for their poor second half display.
If that wasn’t enough, the Gills beat Doncaster 1-0 at the Priestfield Stadium on September 5, in a game which proved Paul Dickov’s last match in charge with the Scot turfing off the pitch with boos ringing in his ears at the final whistle.
Now, Justin Edinburgh’s side call in at Oakwell with his counterpart Lee Johnson minded to remember his first game in charge against the Gills at the end of February, with a goal from loanee George Waring earned the Reds the spoils - and pinning his hopes on something resembling a repeat.
Barnsley’s form at home have been very much up and down and you have to go back to early March for the last time they have recorded successive wins at Oakwell. Now would be as good a time as any to end that statistic.
4: Birmingham City v Rotherham United (Saturday, 3pm)
To say the relief was palpable at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday is the understatement of the year, with the Millers finally afforded the spot of fortune that they have lacked for a good while.
Steve Evans’s side will be minded to look up the road at Huddersfield for the importance of backing up one win with another, with Town moving towards the safer confines of mid-table following consecutive wins over Charlton and Bolton Wanderers - how the Millers would give the equivalent of their right arm to do the same.
St Andrews is a venue where the Millers have not won in their last seven visits since September 1966, losing five including a painful Good Friday loss earlier this year, when Evans hit out at the officials in its aftermath.
After some decent enough away displays this term, maybe the Millers are due a win. Although Blues, stung after their ‘second city’ Capital One Cup loss at bitter rivals Aston Villa in mid-week, will have other ideas.