Chris Wilder insists Sheffield United’s blockbusting clash with Leeds is not a Championship promotion decider.
The Blades visit Elland Road for the Saturday lunchtime kick-off sitting two points behind their hosts in third place and the result could have a big say in who wins automatic promotion.
If Leeds win, they will go top ahead of Norwich’s visit to Rotherham on Saturday afternoon, but more importantly open up a five-point gap over Wilder’s side.
The onus would therefore appear on the South Yorkshire side to win the game, but Wilder does not see it like that.
“It will give a big boost to the winner,” Wilder said. “But it’s not season defining.
“I’ve got total respect for everyone there. Total respect. But it would be a lack of respect from me to suggest this is going to decide what happens.
“It would be disrespectful to the division and especially the teams we’ve got to play after this.”
Norwich will fancy their chances of a sixth straight win against the Millers, who occupy the relegation zone.
For Rotherham boss Paul Warne it is a special game, owing to his history.
“I’ve grown up supporting Norwich, it was the first ground I went to with a bag of Munchies with my dad, so it does mean a lot,” Warne said.
The teams at the bottom will be hoping to take advantage of Millwall’s participation in the FA Cup quarter-finals and try to overtake them.
There is a huge local derby between Wigan and Bolton, with even bigger implications in the fight for survival.
Bolton boss Phil Parkinson, whose club continue to battle off-field problems, wants his side to give it their all in a bid to close the seven-point gap between the two sides.
“After this game we have an international break meaning we can’t leave anything out on the pitch and at the weekend,” he said.
“We have to go there believing we can win.”
Aston Villa host Middlesbrough in a game that could have a big say on the outcome of the top six while Preston host Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday welcome Blackburn and Nottingham Forest visit Ipswich all hoping to enhance their chances of gatecrashing the play-offs.
QPR, whose boss Steve McLaren says they are now in a relegation fight, visit Hull, West Brom travel to Brentford and Stoke take on Reading.
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