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Preview: Rotherham United vs. Blackburn Rovers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Rotherham United and Blackburn Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Rotherham United are in desperate need of a victory as they fight for Championship survival, and they host Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

The 22nd-placed Millers are four points behind Derby County in 21st, with a game in hand over the Rams, but they are running out of time entering the final straight.


Match preview

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne pictured in January 2021© Reuters

A 1-0 defeat to Brentford on Tuesday night means that safety is now out of Rotherham's hands. Even if they win their final three fixtures – against Blackburn, Luton Town and Cardiff City – they need to hope that Derby slip up against either Swansea City or Sheffield Wednesday.

That does not seem that unlikely considering that Wayne Rooney's side are in freefall, but Rotherham are in poor form themselves and must start picking up points.

The Millers have lost their last five matches, but all by one-goal margins, an indication of how they continue to fight to the very end.

Paul Warne has admitted that the "brutal" schedule, which has seen his team play nine games in 25 days due to Covid outbreaks earlier in the season, has simply caught up with their small squad who are exhausted.

However, Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart has confirmed that the club will stick with Warne at the helm regardless of what happens in the next fortnight.

No side in the Championship has picked up fewer points (18) or conceded more goals (34) at home this season than the Millers, who have lost eight of their last nine games at the New York Stadium.

Blackburn Rovers' Adam Armstrong celebrates scoring against Rotherham United in the Championship on December 16, 2020© Reuters

They will hope that a game against a Blackburn team with nothing to play for presents an opportunity to finally get a win on the board.

Rovers are 15th in the Championship and can go no higher than 12th, while they have lost to other struggling sides Wycombe Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday in the last month.

However, they produced an emphatic display to win 5-2 against Huddersfield Town last weekend as Adam Armstrong netted his second hat trick of the campaign alongside goals from Ben Brereton and Sam Gallagher.

It was like watching Rovers at the start of the season when they were scoring goals for fun and looked capable of mounting a playoff push; a reminder of how the campaign could have panned out.

However, the reality is that it was just a second victory in 10 games for Tony Mowbray's side, which shows how they have slumped in recent months.

Armstrong scored a 98th-minute winner as Blackburn came from behind to win 2-1 in this season's reverse fixture in December, meaning Rotherham have won just one of the last 10 meetings between the two sides.

Rotherham United Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Blackburn Rovers Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W



Team News

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray pictured in December 2019© Reuters

Rotherham will make a late decision on Viktor Johansson, who suffered concussion against Barnsley and therefore missed Tuesday's game against Brentford. All concussion protocols must be closely followed in order to assess the goalkeeper's availability.

Matt Crooks will serve the final game of his three-match suspension following his red card against Middlesbrough.

Considering Warne's comments on his players suffering from fatigue, changes are expected for the Millers, with Matthew Olosunde, Shaun MacDonald and Freddie Ladapo among the names who could come into the side.

Blackburn boss Mowbray could name an unchanged team after such a pulsating performance against Huddersfield last weekend.

Ryan Nyambe limped off against the Terriers, but it appeared to only be a knock, and he is expected to be available for the trip to the New York Stadium.

It has been an injury-ravaged season for Daniel Ayala, who has made just nine appearances since signing last September, but he is expected to feature for the Under-23s on Friday night and could make the bench for the final game of the season against Birmingham City.

Rotherham United possible starting lineup:
Blackman; Ihiekwe, Wood, A. MacDonald; Olosunde, S. MacDonald, Wing, Giles; Lindsay; Ladapo, Smith

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Nyambe, Lenihan, Harwood-Bellis, Bell; Travis, Evans; Brereton, Rothwell, Gallagher; Armstrong


SM words green background

We say: Rotherham United 2-2 Blackburn Rovers

Ordinarily you might give Rotherham a good chance of winning this game as Blackburn have nothing to play for, but the Millers seem dead on their feet and Rovers are on a confidence high after last weekend; it should be an open affair but ultimately we think that the hosts will not quite get the result they need.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Rotherham vs Blackburn

Rotherham United
39.1%
Draw
28.3%
Blackburn Rovers
32.6%
46
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Adam Armstrong celebrates scoring for Blackburn Rovers on September 19, 2020
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Tony Mowbray lauds "brilliant" Blackburn hat-trick hero Adam Armstrong
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
5Barnsley46239145850878
6Bournemouth4622111373462777
7Reading461913146254870
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
10Middlesbrough461810185553264
11Millwall461517144752-562
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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