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Preview: Rotherham United vs. Cardiff City - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Out-of-form sides Rotherham United and Cardiff City meet at the New York Stadium on Saturday seeking a return to winning ways in the Championship.

Rotherham have won one of their last nine games and are in the relegation zone, while Cardiff's playoff hopes have taken a serious dent following three defeats in a row.


Match preview

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne pictured on September 12, 2020© Reuters

Rotherham appeared to have revived their season with a 2-0 win over Bristol City two weeks ago, but they have since lost 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers and Barnsley.

That most recent loss at the hands of their South Yorkshire rivals leaves the Millers 23rd, only kept off the bottom of the table by Wycombe Wanderers.

Wycombe are now within a point of Rotherham, though, after picking up a victory over United's next opponents Cardiff earlier this week.

The Bluebirds fell to a 2-1 reverse at Adams Park in what will surely be the nadir of their campaign.

It marked the ninth defeat of their season and a third on the spin, with the pressure now seriously growing on boss Neil Harris, who was sent to the stands.

Cardiff City manager Neil Harris pictured in October 2020© Reuters

To make matters worse for City, they have lost their first league match in each of the last three calendar years, including a 6-1 loss at the hands of Queens Park Rangers in 2019.

Another defeat this weekend, regardless of the manner of the scoreline, could well bring an end to Harris's tenure.

Cardiff's disappointing run includes back-to-back defeats on their travels to Norwich City and Wycombe, though they have won two of their last three games away to Rotherham.

Indeed, the Yorkshire outfit have won just one of the last 10 league meetings with Cardiff, losing 5-0 in the most recent match in February 2017.

Rotherham United Championship form: LLLWLL

Cardiff City Championship form: WLWLLL


Team News

Cardiff City's Harry Wilson celebrates scoring against Bournemouth in the Championship on October 21, 2020© Reuters

Matt Smith is in contention to return for Rotherham, which could mean a change in formation should the striker be paired with Freddie Ladapo.

Barnsley are one of a number of Championship clubs to be heavily hit by coronavirus cases in recent days, with numerous players being forced to isolate.

Angus MacDonald, Matt Crooks and Billy Jones are among those expected to miss out on this match as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cardiff do not have such issues to worry about, but they will be without manager Harris after he was sent to the stands last time out.

Filip Benkovic came on for injured captain Sean Morrison against Wycombe and is almost certain to make his full debut this weekend.

Junior Hoilett is among those pushing for a recall in attack, with Robert Glatzel expected to lead the line.

Rotherham United possible starting lineup:
Johansson; Wood, Ihiekwe, Harding; Olosunde, Wiles, Barlaser, Lindsay, Jozefzoon; Ladapo, Smith

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Bacuna, Benkovic, Nelson, Bennett; Ralls, Vaulks; Ojo, Wilson, Hoilett; Glatzel


SM words green background

We say: Rotherham United 0-2 Cardiff City

This is surely a do-or-die match for Cardiff boss Harris on the back of three straight defeats.

Rotherham are themselves in need of points, but we can see the Bluebirds getting their campaign back on track with victory at the New York Stadium.


Top betting 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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Cardiff City manager Neil Harris pictured in October 2020
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Sunday's key events


SURFING
· Wave conditions permitting, surfing will make its Olympic debut (11pm-8.20am)

SKATEBOARDING
· Another debutant sport at this Olympics, most eyes will be on American Nyjah Huston in the men's street contest as he looks to add Olympic gold to his four world titles and 12 X-Games golds. (12.30am-5am)

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· History beckons for Jade Jones as she looks to become a three-time Olympic champion - something never done before in the sport prior to these Games (2am-1.45pm)
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· Already-legendary gymnast Simone Biles makes her first appearance of the Games in the women's qualifying event (2am-2pm)

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· Lizzie Deignan is among the Team GB team looking for success in the women's road race (5am-9.30am)

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· Reigning two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray starts his title defence against Canadian hotshot Felix Auger-Aliassime (7am approx.)

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