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05 December 2020 Venue St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues Face Rotherham United This Weekend

City can extend their unbeaten run to five matches on Saturday...

4 December 2020

The Sky Blues face Rotherham United at St Andrew’s on Saturday afternoon. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.

Fact File

Name: Rotherham United

Founded: 1925

Stadium: New York Stadium (first opened 2012)

Capacity: 12,021

Nickname: The Millers

Address: New York Stadium, New York Way, Rotherham, S60 1AH

Pitch Size: 112 x 72 yards

New York Stadium.jpg

The Opposition

Rotherham currently sit in 20th place having been promoted from Sky Bet League One with the Sky Blues last season.

The Millers are managed by club legend Paul Warne and play a physical style of football with the likes of Clark Robertson, Matt Crooks and Freddie Ladapo at their disposal, the latter having scored four league goals this season.

The Yorkshire club are on a four-game winless run and have won just one game on their travels this season, an opening day success away at Wycombe Wanderers.

Paul Warne.jpg

Manager

Paul Warne was appointed as Rotherham manager in April 2017, having been in caretaker charge of the club for the majority of the 2016/17 campaign.

The 47-year-old spent eight years with the club as a player across two spells, making over 250 league appearances, before taking up a coaching role with the Millers following his retirement from football in May 2012.

He took over as caretaker manager in November 2016, but couldn’t keep the club in the Championship, with Rotherham finishing with the lowest points tally ever recorded by a second-tier side since three points for a win was introduced.

Warne was appointed permanent manager after the club’s relegation to League One was confirmed and led Rotherham straight back to the Championship in 2017/18, beating Shrewsbury Town after extra-time in the play-off final at Wembley.

However, Warne would suffer his second relegation as a manager the following season, finishing four points from safety, returning to the third-tier at the first attempt.

The club returned to the Championship, finishing as runners-up to the Sky Blues at the end of the curtailed 2019/20 season, handing Warne his second promotion as a manager.

With Rotherham, Warne has managed 192 matches recording 66 wins, 42 draws and 84 defeats.

Rotherham United Fans.jpg

Last Six Games

Lost – Rotherham 0-2 Brentford (Sky Bet Championship)

Draw – Rotherham 2-2 Bournemouth (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Queens Park Rangers 3-2 Rotherham (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Swansea City 1-0 Rotherham (Sky Bet Championship)

Won – Rotherham 2-1 Preston North End (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Rotherham 0-1 Luton Town (Sky Bet Championship)

Last Meeting vs Rotherham United.jpg

Last Time We Met

The two sides last met in February earlier this year, playing out a 1-1 draw at St Andrew’s in a top of the table clash in League One.

Rotherham had the first chance of the game when the ball broke kindly for Freddie Ladapo inside the area, with Marko Marosi taking the sting out of the striker’s powerful effort before Kyle McFadzean hooked the ball clear.

The visitors were once again denied by Marosi when Chiedozie Ogbene saw his fierce shot pushed behind for a corner.

From the resulting set-piece, the Millers went ahead when Ladapo turned the ball home from close range, after Marosi was unable to gather in the corner from the right under pressure.

The Sky Blues keeper made a stunning save, diving to his left, to keep City in the contest, tipping Ladapo’s ferocious shot on the turn behind, after the ball was headed down into the forward’s path.

City equalised two minutes into the second-half, when Callum O’Hare took a quick free-kick into the path of Liam Walsh, who picked out the run of Fankaty Dabo on the right, before he crossed for Matty Godden to head into the bottom left corner.

Walsh then came close to putting City ahead when he received a pass from Dabo, before cutting inside of his man and shooting just wide of the post from 25-yards out.

The Sky Blues had one final chance to win the game when Godden headed inches wide from Walsh’s corner from the left.

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues Wins – 11

Draws – 7

Rotherham Wins – 8

Club Connections

Richard Wood.jpeg

Richard Wood

Defender Richard Wood made over a century of appearances for the Sky Blues before signing for his current employers Rotherham.

Wood began his career with Sheffield Wednesday, coming through the youth ranks at the club, and made a total of 189 appearances for the Owls, scoring eight goals, across eight seasons with the club, which included winning the 2004/05 League One play-off final to secure promotion to the Championship.

He signed for the Sky Blues on an initial loan deal in November 2009, before making the move permanent the following January and spent four seasons with City, making a total of 129 appearances, scoring eight goals.

Following the expiry of his contract, he joined Charlton Athletic in July 2013, spending one season with the Addicks before signing for Rotherham the following summer.

He initially struggled to nail down a starting berth with the Millers and spent time on loan at Crawley Town, Fleetwood Town and Chesterfield, before becoming a regular starter in the 2016/17 season.

The 35-year-old scored both goals in their 2-1 win against Shrewsbury Town in the 2017/18 League One play-off final at Wembley, captaining his side to promotion back to the Championship.

He helped the Millers achieve promotion back to the second tier again last season and has made over 150 appearances for the club over the last seven seasons.

Leon Best.jpg

Leon Best

Former Republic of Ireland international Leon Best enjoyed a breakthrough spell with the Sky Blues before featuring for Rotherham towards the end of his career.

Best began his career with Southampton and spent time on loan with Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday (on two occasions), Bournemouth and Yeovil Town before joining the Sky Blues on a permanent basis in July 2007.

He endeared himself to the Sky Blues faithful with his tireless displays, scoring a total of 23 goals in 104 appearances and wore a protective mask following a cheekbone fracture, earning him the nickname Zorro.

His displays for City earned him a move to Newcastle United in February 2010 and he helped the Magpies win the Championship title in 2009/10, before scoring a hat-trick against West Ham United in the Premier League the following season.

He departed for Blackburn Rovers in July 2012 only for injuries to limit his game time with Rovers, spending time on loan with Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County and Brighton & Hove Albion before joining Rotherham in November 2015.

With the Millers, Best scored four goals in 16 appearances which included a brace against Derby County as Rotherham came from three goals down to rescue a point after scoring three goals in the final seven minutes.

The 34-year-old then had short spells with Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic and has been without a club since leaving the Addicks.

David Webb.jpg

Match Officials

David Webb will be the man in the middle on Saturday afternoon, taking charge of his 13th game of the 2020/21 season.

He last refereed the Sky Blues in October when City were 3-2 winners against Reading at St Andrew’s.

This will be Webb’s 13th season as a Football League referee and he has officiated the Sky Blues on 13 occasions, with City winning five, drawing three and losing four of those matches.

So far, Webb has awarded 38 yellow cards and two red cards across 12 matches in the Carabao Cup and Championship.

He will be assisted by Ian Cooper and Robert Hyde with Neil Hair acting as fourth official.

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Match Reports

REPORT: Sky Blues 3-1 Rotherham United

City make it five unbeaten...

5 December 2020

A dominant display from City’s striking duo, Max Biamou and Tyler Walker, provided the Sky Blues with a convincing 3-1 win against Rotherham.

The pair combined for Biamou to slot the ball beyond Rotherham 'keeper Jamal Blackman on 4 minutes, before Walker produced a poacher's goal to double the lead inside 12 minutes.

A complete performance from Mark Robins' side was capped off by Leo Ostigard in the second-half, with a late penalty from Rotherham only a consolation for the away side.

Collecting the ball from Ben Wilson’s arrowed long pass, Walker held the ball up superbly before flicking the ball on to Biamou. Running beyond Rotherham’s defence, the Frenchman kept his composure to calmly slot the ball past Jamal Blackman to give the Sky Blues an early lead.

City carried the momentum after the opening goal as Biamou looked to double his tally just a few minutes later, but his side-foot shot from distance was collected by the Rotherham ‘keeper.

The dream start continued for Mark Robins’ side on 12 minutes. Tyler Walker, following his excellent link up play for Biamou’s goal, demonstrated his natural striker instincts to score City’s second of the day.

A Gus Hamer free kick was lofted towards Biamou, holding the ball up well to lay it off to Callum O’Hare. His deflected shot cannoned off the post to leave the Rotherham defence on the back-foot and it was Walker who was first to react. Pouncing on to the loose ball, he was left with an easy finish from a few yards out for his 3rd goal of the season.

Rotherham showed signs of a comeback, warning the Sky Blues against complacency, as they fashioned chances from set pieces. Michael Ihiekwe headed over from a Joe Mattock free-kick, though he was adjudged to be offside. Moments later, it was another Mattock delivery that found Angus MacDonald from a corner, whose header flew over the bar.

Following the second goal, City again threatened again from a free-kick on 23 minutes. Sam McCallum whipped in a perfect delivery from the right-hand side, which narrowly avoided Kyle McFadzean, before the flag was raised for offside.

Joe Mattock continued to be Rotherham’s main creative outlet as the game maintained its relentless pace. His teasing cross was momentarily dropped by Ben Wilson and Freddie Ladapo threatened to seize upon the loose ball before it was cleared away.

Attempting to double his tally, Biamou hit the post on 32 minutes with an impressive overhead kick. Winning possession on the halfway line, Liam Kelly played the ball to O’Hare, who returned the ball to the Sky Blues captain in space for the cross. Kelly’s outside-of-the-boot delivery found Biamou, who saw his improvised acrobatic effort denied by the post.

As the first-half came to a close, City’s striking duo looked to assert their dominance once more. A long ball from McCallum was deftly headed on by Biamou to find Walker. Only a superb stop from Blackman denied the 24-year-old with his shot destined for the near corner.

HALF-TIME: SKY BLUES 2-0 ROTHERHAM UNITED

Rotherham began the second-half positively as the away side looked to ignite a comeback, though they struggled to create any clear-cut chances. The best opportunity came via a threatening Daniel Barlaser corner, which was headed back across goal but MacDonald failed to latch on to the pass.

A last-ditch block from Liam Kelly maintained City’s clean sheet on 64 minutes. Replacing the injured Mattock, Barlaser assumed the former’s duty as his side’s main creative force from set pieces. His free-kick found Alfie Crooks, who’s goal-bound volley was excellently denied by City’s skipper.

Despite the away side’s strong second-half display, Biamou and Walker attempted to put the game beyond doubt on 66 minutes. Working down the left wing, Biamou flashed in a low cross towards Walker. The striker, with his leg outstretched, got a toe to the ball with Blackman out of position, but his shot went agonisingly wide of the far post.

A faultless display from the Sky Blues was capped off by Leo Ostigard on 73 minutes. Gus Hamer’s free-kick picked out the centre-half at the back post. He powered his header across goal, deflecting off Michael Smith, and into the far corner for Ostigard’s first City goal.

Rotherham continued to come forward late on and were given a penalty on 85 minutes, after Ben Wilson challenged with Kyle Vassell for the ball. Barlaser converted from the spot to give the away side some encouragement with a few minutes remaining.

FULL TIME: SKY BLUES 3-1 ROTHERHAM UNITED

Goals: Max Biamou 5’, Tyler walker 12’, Ostigard 73’, Barlaser 85’

Yellows: Joe Mattock, Matthew Olosunde, Angus MacDonald

Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Fankaty Dabo, Leo Ostigard, Kyle McFadzean, Dom Hyam, Sam McCallum, Liam Kelly (C), Gustavo Hamer, Callum O’Hare, Tyler Walker (Bakayoko, 78’), Max Biamou

Unused Subs: Lee Camp (GK), Josh Pask, Ryan Giles, Ben Sheaf, Jordan Shipley, Jamie Allen, Wesley Jobello, Blaine Rowe

Rotherham XI: Jamal Blackman (GK), Wes Harding, Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood (C) (Olosunde, 45’), Angus MacDonald, Joe Mattock (Barlaser, 45’), Jamie Lindsay (Vassell, 65’), Ben Wiles, Matt Crooks, Michael Smith (Jozefzoon, 80’), Freddie Ladapo (Hirst, 54’)

Unused Subs: Viktor Johansson, Billy Jones, Trevor Clarke, Adam Thompson

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