Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers will square off at Bramall Lane on Tuesday evening with both clubs desperately requiring all three points in the Championship promotion race.
After defeats on Saturday, the Blades and Hoops have dropped outside of the top six, albeit with a game in hand on sixth-placed Blackburn Rovers.
Ever since Paul Heckingbottom returned to Sheffield United in November, they have looked like a team who have the quality to not only sustain a playoff bid, but also earn a return to the Premier League.
However, a return of just two wins from seven matches has changed that perception, the Blades having dropped down to eighth spot courtesy of their late 1-0 defeat at Stoke City.
To Heckingbottom’s credit, he is yet to suffer back-to-back losses in the Championship this season, but a lack of consistency has increased the importance of bouncing back on Tuesday.
On the plus side for Sheffield United, they now face three home fixtures in succession, with games against Bournemouth and Reading to follow the showdown with QPR.
The Yorkshire outfit have not lost in front of their own supporters since October 30, a period spanning 10 matches, and this fixture represents the first match between the two clubs this campaign.
If reports are to be believed, QPR are on the brink of sacking Mark Warburton, a consequence of the London side losing seven of their last 10 games in the Championship.
At one stage, QPR were challenging for the automatic promotion places, but a further setback on Tuesday would leave the club as clear outsiders to secure another year in the top flight.
While it would feel harsh if a 2-0 defeat at home to leaders Fulham led to a change in the dugout, the 3-1 reverse to struggling Peterborough United before the international break left the powers-that-be at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium with plenty to ponder.
Five of QPR’s seven remaining games will be played away from home, although that should not necessarily be regarded as a negative with eight wins coming from 18 matches on their travels this season.
Sheffield United Championship form:
Queens Park Rangers Championship form:
We say: Sheffield United 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
With everything point to this being a tense affair, do not expect many goals at Bramall Lane. There is scope for a goalless draw to play out, but we feel that home advantage could prove key for a Sheffield United side who appear to have more chance of lasting the pace in the race for the top six.