Mansfield Town under-18s kick off the new year on Saturday morning when they welcome Rotherham United to The RH Academy in the EFL Youth Alliance.
The Stags were due to restart their campaign with a visit to Grimsby Town last week; however, that fixture was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Therefore, they will now open this calendar year in the league against the same side that they closed the last.
A little under a month ago, the pair played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture which saw a Diego Edwards goal cancel out Adam Clark’s opener for the hosts.
That December draw came sandwiched between the opening two rounds of the FA Youth Cup for the Stags.
They advanced through the first round with 3-0 victory over Bugbrooke St. Michaels before bowing out of the competition following a narrow 3-2 defeat to Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.
The one aspect all three fixtures had in common was Edwards. The first-year scholar found the back of the net in all three matches and will be looking to continue that form into 2021.
All signs point to this one being an entertaining affair as nine league matches featuring Rotherham so far have seen a division-high 44 goals scored.
In fact, their draw last time out was the first of the season for both sides, and just the fourth across all games in the division thus far.
This weekend’s visitors make the trip down the M1 sitting in fourth, five places and six points ahead of the Stags, albeit having played two matches more.
A Mansfield win could see the youngsters rise as high as seventh, should results go their way, while retaining at least one game in hand on the sides surrounding them.