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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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