By Sam Koster @samkoster
This Saturday will see Rotherham United make the trip across town to Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium, to face a team who are looking to further cement their place in the Championship’s playoff places.
Wednesday’s scrappy midweek draw against Hull City was another indicator of the progress The Owls are making under head coach Carlos Carvalhal, who managed to keep Steve Bruce’s men quiet for a full 90 minutes at the KC Stadium.
For new Rotherham boss Neil Warnock, it is a chance to build upon his side’s impressive victory over Brentford last Saturday, and an opportunity that could see them climb out of the relegation zone if results elsewhere go their way.
The Millers will also be by buoyed by the suspension of lead goalscorer Fernando Forestieri, who was sent off for the second time in a week for an alleged dive against Hull, meaning former Celtic man Gary Hooper will likely bear much of the goalscoring burden when his team host Rotherham on Saturday.
The performance of January signing Aiden McGeady will also be paramount if Wednesday are to emerge as winners on Saturday, with the Irish international still looking to open his goalscoring account since moving on loan from Everton.
Lucas João, 22, who may well replace Forestieri in the starting XI, could also prove to be a crucial figure if Wednesday are to stake their claim as genuine promotion contenders. The Portuguese international has scored six times already this term.
Following their first goal under Neil Warnock on Saturday however, Rotherham will be quietly confident of upsetting the odds against their rivals this weekend, with Wednesday having conceded the most goals out of all teams in the top six. The pressure however, will be on for Warnock to secure a positive result with his side still camped inside the bottom-three with only 12 games left to play.
For both sides this represents a game of equal importance. For Wednesday, another chance to climb up the table towards the automatic promotion places, while for Rotherham, another chance to escape the relegation zone beckons.