The 2021/22 EFL season spells the return of several local rivalries, which promise to be fiercer and fierier than ever.
In suffering relegation to the Sky Bet League One as the curtains came down on the 2020/21 campaign, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United will renew acquaintances with Doncaster Rovers, guaranteeing six stimulating South Yorkshire derbies for supporters to look forward to.
The teams involved
Along with Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United and Doncaster Rovers, neighbouring Championship pairing Sheffield United and Barnsley are also recognised within the South Yorkshire rivalry.
However, for Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, the crème de la crème will always be the Steel City derby, which was last played in March 2019, when the two teams met in the Championship for the first time in six years.
A number of players and managers – past and present – have made the short trip up the M1 between the AESSEAL New York Stadium and Hillsborough. Most notably, talisman Richard Wood, who is currently on the Millers’ books, has enjoyed spells at both Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday, with the defender clocking over 300 appearances for both clubs.
Similarly, Joe Mattock also joined Paul Warne’s side from Wednesday in 2015 and has since established himself as the team’s first choice left-back.
Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore crossed the divide in March 2021, taking the reins at Hillsborough after guiding Rovers to a ninth-place finish in 2019/20.
Other current connections between Rotherham United and Doncaster Rovers include midfielder Jon Taylor, who made the switch to the Keepmoat Stadium in the summer of 2019, inking a two-year deal with the League One Club and going on to make his debut against his ex-employers.
Last time out
Rotherham currently hold the bragging rights over Wednesday, edging the Owls 2-1 back in March, when Warne’s men defeated their local rivals in dramatic fashion. Freddie Ladapo struck in the 97thminute after Michael Smith opened the Millers’ account in the first half, before Matthew Olosunde cancelled out his team-mates’ opener.
Wednesday hosted Rovers in the League One Club’s first home fixture of the campaign, with Barry Bannan and Dennis Adeniran on target in a 2-0 win over Doncaster, with the Owls hoping to do the double in February.
Meanwhile, Rotherham and Doncaster last met in the EFL Trophy in 2019, when the Millers ousted Moore’s then-Rovers side from the competition on a 3-2 score-line.