Rotherham United (A) Match Preview

The U’s continue their tough run of fixtures in November with a trip up to South Yorkshire to face high-flyers Rotherham. Currently sitting third in the table and boasting the league’s top goalscorer (although he is suspended for Saturday), if United don’t put the lessons learned at MK into practise we could well be in for a very long afternoon.

But if there’s one thing that Mark Bonner’s United side have always been good at it’s bouncing back. A point that’s been made on the pod multiple times is that our boss has only lost more than one league game in a row on two separate occasions. We’ll need all of the bouncebackability, self-belief, and spirit that this squad can muster to make sure that impressive record stays intact.

As many of you will rightly point out, the U’s have already bounced back from last Saturday’s shocker at MK with a well-earned cup replay win against Northampton. But, with all due respect, the Cobblers are a very different prospect to Rotherham, one of the fancied teams in what is such a strong division.

Injuries are still playing their part on Bonner’s team selection for the weekend, but will Okedina and Masterson step up to the plate and manage to keep Rotherham out despite all their firepower?

Takeaways from Bonner’s presser

  • Lloyd Jones is making steady progress but probably won’t be available on Saturday
  • Same with Tracey, whose attacking threat we’ll really miss
  • Aiming to actively control spells of the game through possession
  • There’s belief in the squad to go and get a result against the top sides in the division

Expected line-up

Putting our neck on the line here…

Mitov, Williams, Okedina, Masterson, Iredale, Smith, Weir, Digby, May, Brophy, Ironside

(Wes most certainly on the bench, don’t worry).

Opposition preview

Rotherham have put together an extremely solid start to the campaign as they look to bounce straight back to the Championship at the first time of asking. This is a squad that was very competitive in the second tier last year, so it’s no surprise that it’s faring so well at this level.

They have, however, slipped up a couple of times at home, against Fleetwood (who put four past them) and Crewe (who salvaged a draw). But, they’ve also put three past MK, four past Portsmouth, and five past Sunderland at the New York Stadium too. So don’t hold your breath.

Listen to the latest pod here to see what Danny from the New York Talk podcast had to say in his preview of the game.

Who is their player to watch?

Their attacking talent is extremely enviable. The league’s top scorer Michael Smith being the obvious candidate, and even though he’s suspended for our visit, Freddie Ladapo or Will Grigg are more than capable of leading the line.

Danny also mentions how strong their right hand side is, mentioning that defending sides need to have strong left flanks to get anything.

Who’s in the dugout?

Paul Warne has been in charge of The Millers for five years now, and he’s got them promoted from this division twice in two attempts – once through the play-offs, once as runners up. Just one left to complete the set…

What’s their recent form like?

D, W, W, D, W

Any ex-United players?

Nope.

Last time out

Rotherham 1-0 United, 11th August 2015. A very very forgettable League Cup encounter on a Tuesday night. 

A matchday album to listen to

Iceage – Seek Shelter

Danish punks Iceage might not be your usual taste on the morning of a matchday, but their latest release is less of the scratchy, 200mph raw energy of their early releases and much more of the melody and atmosphere of a classic rock ballad. Title track ‘Seek Shelter’ and single ‘Gold City’ are particularly recommended as you slog your way up north.

The UTAS team’s terrible Moosenet predictions

Jordan: Rotherham 3-1, Ironside

Jack: United 2-1, Smith

Owen: Rotherham 2-1, Knibbs

Julian: 1-1, Weir

Tom: Rotherham 2-0

From the archive

In the absence of being able to find our 6-1 battering at the Abbey including a Butler hat-trick, this 3-2 loss at the end of the 1991 season will have to do.

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