Romantic thoughts of promotion - five key pointers for tonight

Huddersfield Town's Izzy Brown returns to the New York StadiumHuddersfield Town's Izzy Brown returns to the New York Stadium
Huddersfield Town's Izzy Brown returns to the New York Stadium
VALENTINE'S DAY. A time for sweetness and love...

But for Yorkshire’s EFL sides, it is a time for business and points tonight.

Rotherham United v Huddersfield Town:

On paper, Town - on a four-match Championship winning streak with nine wins in their past 11 outings - look resounding favourites.

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Leeds United striker Chris WoodLeeds United striker Chris Wood
Leeds United striker Chris Wood

But a spanner has been thrown into the works by way of an unfortunate injury to the one player who ensures that Huddersfield’s wheels go around smoothly in Jonathan Hogg. He has simply been immense for Town of late.

They face a Rotherham side mindful of not yet picking up so much as a derby point this season and anxious to at least provide some belated cheer to their long-suffering supporters.

The Millers will also be pumped up by the return of Izzy Brown. The hosts may look down and out, but will give it a go.

If Town can dig out a scrappy win, that would do them. We’ll see.

Conor Hourihane faces former club BarnsleyConor Hourihane faces former club Barnsley
Conor Hourihane faces former club Barnsley

Leeds United v Bristol City:

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The arrival of a side without an away success since September 24 looks a timely one on paper for Leeds after a rare home setback on Saturday.

Garry Monk has rightfully called for some perspective, given how far Leeds have travelled this term. But the need to get back on the winning track at the first juncture is paramount, it is what good sides do - they show that bad days are just one-offs.

Leeds require more urgency, tempo and thought than they displayed on Saturday. More bodies in the box would also help. Take a gamble or two. Chris Wood can not bail United out all the time.

Victory salute from Jordan RhodesVictory salute from Jordan Rhodes
Victory salute from Jordan Rhodes

Team selection will be interesting, with the likes of Kemar Roofe and Modou Barrow pushing for starts while Eunan O’Kane is likely to replace the suspended Liam Bridcutt in the engine room.

Aston Villa v Barnsley:

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Reunion day as Conor Hourihane faces the Reds just 19 days after leaving.

Not that it is all sweetness and light for Villa at the minute, plumbing the depths after six defeats in seven matches in a winless start to 2017.

Doncaster Rovers chief Darren FergusonDoncaster Rovers chief Darren Ferguson
Doncaster Rovers chief Darren Ferguson

It is a cracking assignment for Barnsley, who visit Villa Park at this level for the first time since September, 1987. A tough run of games for Paul Heckingbottom’s men for sure, but playing Reading, Villa, Brighton and Huddersfield is more appealing - with respect - to Swindon, Gillingham, Bury and Colchester..

Every chance of them following the footsteps of Leeds and Huddersfield in getting a noteworthy result in the second city if they are on message.

Sheffield Wednesday v Blackburn Rovers:

An encore, anyone..

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First impressions of the Rhodes-Winnall axis up front were decidedly healthy ones on Friday and it would be a surprise if they did not line up in tandem again with confidence oozing through their veins after maiden goals for the Owls against Birmingham.

Rhodes will be desperate to score against a former club, while Winnall found the net against Rovers as recently as Christmas.

Steven Fletcher is now available again to provide an option up front.

Carlisle United v Doncaster Rovers:

Some weeks are bigger than others.

Games against the sides ranked third and fourth in League Two underline that fact for Doncaster Rovers.

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A positive haul of points and extending their unbeaten sequence to 12 games would start to break the will of several rivals. It starts with a trip to Carlisle, with the Cumbrians seeking payback after a shock 4-1 weekend home loss to Blackpool.

Darren Ferguson will not be fooled, with the Rovers chief minded to appreciate that Carlisle were one of the better sides to visit the Keepmoat earlier this term. On Saturday, it is onto Luton - who represent another of the stronger sides at this level capable of beating anyone on their day.

Good tests for Donny.