Something for the weekend? Five clashes to whet the appetite for Yorkshire’s football fans

HELLO AGAIN: Leeds United and Huddersfield Town clash once again in the Championship, this time at Elland Road on Saturday.
 Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
HELLO AGAIN: Leeds United and Huddersfield Town clash once again in the Championship, this time at Elland Road on Saturday. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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THE CHAMPIONSHIP may close its doors for business after Saturday’s action before reconvening after Easter, but there are some crackers for the Yorkshire contingent beforehand.

The North Riding meets the East Riding tonight when Middlesbrough welcome Hull City in a promotion meeting which has major ramifications for both, while West Yorkshire neighbours Leeds United and Huddersfield Town do battle on Saturday.

Hull City  and Middlesbrough could dent each other's promotion hopes on Friday night at the Riverside.

Hull City and Middlesbrough could dent each other's promotion hopes on Friday night at the Riverside.

There’s also some choice fare elsewhere in the Football League, with Bradford City heading over the Pennines to Wigan Athletic and Doncaster Rovers having a monumental home showdown with Peterborough United, Darren Ferguson’s old club.

Here are five weekend crackers.

Middlesbrough v Hull City

Both sides have endured ropey runs and a rough old week, although the media spotlight has been more intense at Middlesbrough following some bizarre and chaotic events which saw Aitor Karanka fall out with senior players ahead of their game at Charlton, storm off and not be on the bench at the unhappy Valley.

Sheffield Wednesday manager, Carlos Carvalhal, will be looing for three points from his side's Hillsborough clash with struggling Charlton.

Sheffield Wednesday manager, Carlos Carvalhal, will be looing for three points from his side's Hillsborough clash with struggling Charlton.

His continuation as head coach after some intensive talks between players, staff and chairman Steve Gibson - who has done a very passable impersonation of a UN special envoy - has attempted to re-establish some calm and order.

But the only way to quell the conjecture from a Boro perspective is a win this evening.

In terms of on-pitch results, both sides are showing signs of strain. Boro have won just three in 11 games with Jordan Rhodes having yet to cut the mustard, while Hull have taken just 10 points from eight matches, scoring five times. You sense something will give this evening.

Leeds United v Huddersfield Town

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson just wants a win - however his players can get it.

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson just wants a win - however his players can get it.

Leeds are aiming to create a little piece of history by recording back-to-back league doubles over Town, although the visitors will have something to say about that.

United are seeking their fourth successive win for the first time since 2009-10 as they aim to inject further momentum after wins over Blackburn, Cardiff and Bolton and strengthen their claims for a top-10 finish, with the game having come at the right time. Although if the Whites win, Steve Evans would be forgiven for wishing there was no two-week international break.

The game has probably come at a good juncture for Town, too. Last week’s disappointing and pretty much self-inflicted loss to Burnley arrived after a decent run of form, if not necessarily results.

It’s fair to say that Town’s performances under David Wagner should have probably yielded more points than they have accrued - an example of that was the 3-0 reverse to Leeds at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The visiting players should not need motivating tomorrow

Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton Athletic

The Owls, with Fernando Forestieri and Aiden McGeady creating havoc, rediscovered their attacking mojo in a fine weekend win at Nottingham Forest and another convincing performance and result against Charlton would set them fair for a massive April.

That said, there was one development by the Trent which they could have done without - namely the dismissal of midfield talisman Barry Bannan, now out for three matches.

Wednesday have memories of a disappointing result earlier in the season at Charlton to purge and while the absence of Bannan is a blow, much has been made of the prowess of the Owls squad and we will find out about the quality control level in the three games which the Scot misses - Charlton, Huddersfield and Blackburn.

Carlos Carvalhal remains relaxed in his squad options, but will he be able to rest easy despite Bannan’s absence?

Doncaster Rovers v Peterborough United

Asked what Rovers need to do to beat his old club Peterborough and Darren Ferguson’s answer was simple. Just win.

It does not matter one iota how Rovers play on Saturday against another side in desperate form in Posh, who have lost six of their last seven games.

Doncaster themselves are without a win in 11 and plumbing the depths after taking three points from a possible 33.

It is about heart, attitude, organisation, leadership and bravery now for Rovers, not flowing football. Do they have enough of it to survive at this level?

They need to man up fast ahead of an Easter period which sees massive relegation double-headers with Colchester and Blackpool. Sink or swim time ...

Wigan Athletic v Bradford City

The Bantams are in a good place ahead of the trip over the Pennines with last weekend’s 2-1 win over Doncaster a lot more comfortable than the scoreline suggested, manager Phil Parkinson even having the luxury of keeping James Hanson on the bench.

Wigan are also flying, but the game is nicely synchronised for Bradford, building a head of steam and with a key home game against Millwall next week too.

The DW Stadium was where the run to the Capital One Cup final in 2012-13 truly ignited in front of 5,500 claret-and-amber followers.

A big result at the same destination tomorrow could provide another springboard.