Rotherham United travel to face Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow in a massive South Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough…
The Millers have not had ideal preparation for this derby, as they are on the back of five straight defeats in the Championship. Four of these finished 1-0, but it has seen teams above Rotherham extend the gap between them and the bottom three.
Paul Warne’s side head into this game 22nd in the second tier, a point and a place above their South Yorkshire rivals. They do also have a game in hand over Sheffield Wednesday.
This derby is unlike many others in the past, as both teams are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the Championship.
Rotherham have had wretched luck with injuries of late and despite all of their hard work, this poor run has left them with a lot to do before the end of the season.
A win over Wednesday would be a fantastic boost to the Millers, especially with it coming at the start of a busy period of games prior to the international break.
Rotherham could take confidence into the tie given that the Owls are not exactly firing on all cylinders themselves.
They have lost four straight games in the league, with their defeats being against Stoke, Birmingham Brentford and Luton.
Last time out they were 2-0 up against Luton thanks to a first half brace from Josh Windass. But Nathan Jones’ side fought back to win 3-2 via goals from Kai Naismith, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Elijah Adebayo.
Sheff Weds have a new manager at the helm now, however. Darren Moore has left his role at Doncaster Rovers to take over at Hillsborough. The former West Brom boss had been doing a superb job with Donny, as they are in promotion contention in League One.
Moore’s appointment adds another level of intrigue to this derby, as Rotherham will not quite know what to expect from their rivals. It is a huge game for both teams, as a win could do wonders to help their hopes of survival…
READ | We have to stick together – Angus
“We just need that little bit of luck to go our way, I believe it will change. We’ve got 15 cup finals left and we need to go again against Sheffield Wednesday." #rufc | #ForeverTogetherForeverProudhttps://t.co/5vqzbjhSgh
— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) March 2, 2021
Sheffield Wednesday have the edge over Rotherham from their previous clashes. The Owls have won 50% (20) of the derbies.
Their last league victory over their rivals at Hillsborough came in December 2016. A last-minute penalty from Steven Fletcher earned the hosts a 1-0 victory.
The Millers’ latest win at Hillsborough came earlier that year when Neil Warnock was in charge. Lee Frecklington was the provider for Matt Derbyshire’s goal that helped them to a vital 1-0 victory. This was the second win of Rotherham’s 11-game unbeaten run that saw them to safety.
The sides met at the New York Stadium in October, in a game strangely disrupted by a drone. A dream first half placed the Millers into the ascendency.
Tom Lees was sent off for the Owls and goals from Jamie Lindsay (2) and Dan Barlaser earned Rotherham their biggest ever win over Sheff Weds.
Rotherham have a few injury concerns heading into this game. Clark Robertson will definitely be unavailable after being forced off at the weekend. The defender suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out for around four weeks.
After missing Saturday’s defeat to Reading, Richard Wood is a doubt once again. He missed training on Monday but Warne hoped that he would take part in Tuesday’s session. As we all know with Woody, if there’s even a slight chance of him playing, he will.
Michael Ihiekwe is still unavailable as he serves a two-match ban. Joe Mattock, Jamie Lindsay and Chieo Ogbene are all due to return in the next few weeks.
In our latest Retro Review piece, we look back on Sheffield Wednesday vs Rotherham United from Feb 2002 in Div 1.
— The Millers Reporter (@MillersReporter) July 7, 2020
Even without fans, this has the potential to be a cracking derby given the context around it. This game has more stakes on it than any other recent meeting. A win for either team really could be pivotal as we march on towards the end of the season.
You would expect Sheffield Wednesday to be pretty confident leading into this one on the back of Moore’s arrival. He has had a couple of days to work with his new players, so for Rotherham’s sake, we hope that this does not make a big difference.
Even though they are on a bad run and a small section of the fanbase are calling for Warne’s head, the Millers can go into this derby with belief.
A lot of time has passed since their last meeting, but Rotherham were really dominant at the NYS against a really below-par Owls side.
When you look at Rotherham’s recent results on paper, it is easy to feel despondent. But there were positives to take from most of the defeats. Against Norwich and Bournemouth, Warne’s men showed that they can cause any team in this league problems.
If they can do it against the promotion-chasers, they certainly can against the Owls. It is just a matter of being ice-cold in front of goal and being more clinical when the chances do come.
Rotherham have shown this in fits and starts. But during the run-in, they must start to make more use of their attacking situations.
A win for Rotherham or Sheff Weds has the potential to propel them upwards. It should be a tight game, as Rotherham will give it their all as they always do under Warne and co.
This derby may come down to one game-changing moment, and we fancy Rotherham to just about come out on top to get the win they desperately need.
PREDICTION: Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Rotherham United