Something for the weekend? Four cracking encounters to savour

Huddersfield Town coach David Wagner
Huddersfield Town coach David Wagner
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THE magic of the FA Cup or some juicy EFL fare - just what is your footballing poison on Saturday?

Here’s our take on the forthcoming action:

Phil Parkinson returns to Valley Parade

Phil Parkinson returns to Valley Parade

Huddersfield Town v Manchester City

It is shame on the TV authorities for not screening it, although a 3pm Saturday kick-off is one for the traditionalists.

The sold-out signs are up at the John Smith’s Stadium and it looks an absolute belter of an FA Cup tie, even accounting for Town’s main dish of Championship promotion and City’s impending Champions League last-16 tie with Monaco.

The tactical battle between David Wagner and Pep Guardiola is worth the ticket alone. Can Wagner follow in the footsteps of his great mate Jurgen Klopp and turn over Pep? Gegenpressing v Tiki-Taka. Or something like that.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom

Huddersfield looks a real place to be, with the hosts having nothing to lose. It might be a fore-runner for next season.

Bradford v Bolton

It should have escaped no-one’s attention that there is another humdinger in West Yorkshire. Perhaps with even more spice..

Both sides are vainly endeavouring to play this one down, but their efforts are not convincing anyone ahead of Phil Parkinson’s first return to Valley Parade with Bolton.

Sheffield United chief Chris Wilder

Sheffield United chief Chris Wilder

The reverse League One fixture at the Macron Stadium was incredibly tense and it promises to be another test of nerve.

Parkinson has spoken about Bradford fans ‘baying for blood’ and it promises to be one of those rumbustious occasions that were commonplace, especially in cup competitions, during his time at the club.

Not that Bolton will be short of supporters, with over 2,000 fans heading across the M62. It looks a cracker.

Barnsley v Brighton

After Reading and Aston Villa comes more hearty fare for Barnsley in the shape of Brighton, seeking to dispel memories of their last visit to Yorkshire firmly from their minds after a humbling night in Huddersfield.

After disposing of Villa and more than holding their own against Reading - in a game that they really should have won - Barnsley need to be bang at it against against Albion, who eased past them in their meeting on the south coast earlier this season.

Paul Heckingbottom admitted that Barnsley were soft at the Amex and there is motivation for the Reds to show their true selves and follow the template that they delivered at Oakwell against the likes of Leeds, Derby and Norwich, who were all second-best.

It will be fascinating to see how Brighton, in particular, set up. Will they sit in and adopt tactics of stealth to draw the sting from the pacey hosts or will they fight fire with fire and have a go but leave themselves potentially open to some deadly home counters?

Sheffield United v Scunthorpe

A huge weekend for League One with four of the top five squaring off.

After two games on the road and a haul of four points, leaders Blades have momentum ahead of a key home assignment with a bonafide automatic promotion rival - with another heavy-duty Bramall Lane occasion against Bolton Wanderers following.

You sense that the game has arrived at a timely juncture for Chris Wilder’s Blades, who are back on-message after a little dip.

They face an Iron side who have not won in three league matches, drawing two.

The hosts need to feed off the raucous home support and carry on from where they left off in the previous home game with Wimbledon.