MX23RW : Saturday, February 16 06:08:12
Oct 20, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at ​The New York Stadium
RotherhamRotherham United
Collins (48')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Blackman (26')

Preview: Rotherham United vs. Reading

Sports Mole previews the Championship clash between Rotherham United and Reading at The New York Stadium.

Reading will be eyeing their fifth win in a row when they travel to face Rotherham United at The New York Stadium on Tuesday.

The Royals secured their fourth victory on the bounce by defeating Charlton Athletic, while the Millers remained in the relegation zone following their 2-1 defeat to Brentford.


Leeds caretaker manager Neil Redfearn shouts instructions during the npower Championship match between Charlton Athletic and Leeds United at the Valley on April 06, 2013© Getty Images

Neil Redfearn began life at Rotherham with a defeat as his new side succumbed to a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Bees at Griffin Park.

Alan Judge scored a brace which was enough to hand Brentford the three points, despite an early strike in the second half from Joe Mattock.

The defeat left the Millers 23rd in the table, two points adrift of safety in the early stages of the campaign. Despite being just 11 games into the season, Redfearn will know that he faces a tough challenge to keep the club in the second tier.

Rotherham had a nightmare start to the season as they lost five of their opening seven matches, and although they stemmed the tide by winning back-to-back games against Cardiff City and Birmingham City, the Millers parted company with Steve Evans.

The club have lost both of their matches since the 52-year-old's departure, and Redfearn has now been tasked with leading the club to safety this season. The 50-year-old showed promise in his spells as manager of Leeds United last term, and he will be determined to prove his worth by keeping the club in the division.

The Millers' problems this season have emanated from the back as they have conceded 21 goals - only Queens Park Rangers have allowed more in the Championship. Rotherham have kept two clean sheets in the campaign, and have the second-worst home record in the league.

Reading's arrival at The New York Stadium comes at a bad time for the Millers, but they have to turn the corner sooner rather than later to ease their relegation fears.

Recent form: DLWWLL


Reading manager Steve Clarke during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Reading at The Amex Stadium on December 26, 2014© Getty Images

The Royals endured a poor start to the campaign as they failed to win any of their opening four matches, which put manager Steve Clarke under slight pressure.

However, since their victory over Brentford at Griffin Park they have won six out of their last seven games to shoot up the Championship table.

The only blemishes over the past month have been their defeat to Derby County and their loss in the third round of the Capital One Cup to Everton, but Clarke will be delighted to see that his side have established themselves as promotion contenders.

Reading will be pushing for their fifth win on the spin against the Millers, and the foundation for their recent success has been their defence as they have conceded just one goal in their past four matches.

The form of striker Nick Blackman has been crucial towards their surge up the table as he has notched seven goals in his last seven games, with eight in total during the campaign.

The Royals have lost just once on their travels this season and boast the fourth-best away record in the division as they look to move into the top two for the first time in the campaign when they face off against Redfearn's men.

Recent form: WLWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): LLWWWW

Team News

Harry Toffolo of Norwich City in action during the pre season friendly match between Norwich City and West Ham United at Carrow Road on July 28, 2015 in Norwich, England.© Getty Images

Rotherham completed the loan signing of Harry Toffolo from Norwich City, and the defender is expected to go straight into Redfearn's starting lineup against the Royals.

The Millers are dealing with a number of injuries as Joe Newell, Danny Ward, Lee Frecklington and Mattock are all likely to miss the contest, while Richard Smallwood is suspended.

Hal Robson-Kanu, Anton Ferdinand and Stephen Quinn are all doubtful for Clarke's side, who may name an unchanged lineup from their victory over Charlton

However, Matej Vydra could return to the fold after missing time with a hamstring injury.

Rotherham possible starting lineup:
Camp; Buxton, Rawson, Toffolo, Collins; Bowery, Maguire, G Ward, Green; Clarke-Harris, Derbyshire

Reading possible starting lineup:
Al-Habsi; Gunter, Obita, McShane, Hector; Norwood, Tshibola, Piazon; Blackman, John, Sa

Head To Head

The Millers won the most recent contest between the sides at The New York Stadium last season as goals from Frecklington and Matt Derbyshire guided them to a 2-1 win.

However, Reading recorded a 3-0 victory in the match earlier in the campaign as a brace from Simon Cox and a strike from Jamie Mackie secured the three points.

The Royals have edged the contest over the course of history winning 18 of the 41 matches between the sides, while Rotherham have won 10 of the games, with 13 draws.

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We say: Rotherham 0-2 Reading

The Millers will be fired up for Redfearn's first home game in charge, but have run into Reading at precisely the wrong time. The Royals have the ability to shut out Rotherham and the firepower to secure a comfortable victory and continue their surge up the table.

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Middlesbrough's David Nugent celebrates with goalscorer of goal number three, Middlesbrough's Diego Fabbrini, during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Leeds United at the Riverside on September 27, 2015
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