Date: 21st January 2018 at 9:22pm
Written by:

Paul Warne may be looking forward to taking on McCall, but I am going to try very hard not to be negative (realistic) in this preview. I am biting my tongue as only moments ago we had, erm, a difficult result let’s say. We have got one of the best players to ever don the amber and claret leading us out every single game, a player who I recently listed in my personal City dream team. When I was younger, I always loved how he approached games, he was a fighter and anything 50/50 he went for. We have chairmen that have invested quite a bit of money into the squad this past year and are looking to bolster the ranks. At time of writing we are linked with Mellor from Blackpool which I genuinely do believe will a quite an astute signing and a lot better than some of the names bandied about. I’m glad we’ve missed out on Keiffer Moore, honestly, I really am (read on you will see why), even at the time I didn’t want us to sign him as I’ve seen 1 hit wonders too many times in the game, the most obvious recent one was Aaron McClean. I’m not sure how to take this transfer window, we are lacking, but I’m glad we’ve not rushed into any signings blindly. I’m never majorly a fan of the January window as it’s very rare that one player will change a season. Wyke has been a great signing, but looking throughout the division, how many teams have a player that have scored a similar number of goals this season? The chairmen have said he’s not for sale, fans of other clubs trying to start something there isn’t, hoping to start a few rumours and seeking personal attention and to give their own valuation of a million, but to be honest, if he goes for anything less than £2.5m we don’t deserve to be in the top half of the table and deserve to fail. But as it stands, we’ve had no offers for players, and we aren’t far off a picture, with are just lacking a couple of pieces of the jigsaw.

We can win.
We are a play off team, we have been for 3 seasons now, we know this division and mixed it amongst the best, which brings me onto the Millers. Rotherham were relegated last term with an abysmal 5 league wins to their name, none of which were on the road. Rotherham have proven they can mingle up there with the top of the table, but for a stretch went on a poor run and shown they can still be fragile and a beatable team at this level. United’s form has picked up of late, but being positive, this can be a bit misleading as most of the recent wins have been against teams such as MK Dons, Bury and Walsall. The Bantams are a little bit like an injured animal at the moment, and if anyone has tried to put an animal out of it’s misery, you know you have to be very careful. United will try that with us, and in doing so in front of a thunderous Bantam following, United’s tactics could easily back fire. Let us not forget, Rotherham have recently lost their talisman, Keiffer Moore. We have McCall, we have Wyke, we have the Law on our side. Also, we have one of the best away records in the country, and if we can keep it up, no reason we shouldn’t be able to claim 3 points.

Meh, they might win.
Yeah ok, United have already beaten us in the trophy at Valley Parade this season and currently unbeaten in their last 8 games. Yeah, I the fact accept that United have an outside chance of winning on Tuesday, they have just beaten Portsmouth at home. So I am sure a few might fancy United’s chances against a former Bantam legend leading his boyhood club.

Head to head and form
28 City wins
13 draws
37 Rotherham United wins

History goes in favour of the Millers, but it is all about the here and now. United beat us 0-3 a couple of months ago in the trophy, but we have already beaten the Millers in the league. The last away league meeting at Rotherham was back in December 2013, a scoreless draw against a much better South Yorkshire side who eventually went on to get promoted through the play offs after finishing 4th. The last City win away was at the Don Valley in Mar 2010 with a late winner from James Hanson. The opener was through Michael Flynn on the hour mark and a consolation goal from Adam Le Fondre for the Millers making it 1-2. If honest, McCall hasn’t had a bad record away to Rotherham with a 0-2 win the season before and a draw the season before that. The last double went the way of United in 2012/13 who also achieved the double the season before. United also claimed a home and away win in 2013/14 thanks to a home tie in the FA Cup. The last City double came in 2008/09 under current manager Stuart McCall. Can McCall achieve the same again having already won at Valley Parade this season.

Millers last 6 WDDWWW
Millers last 6 home WDWDLL
City last 6 LLLWWL
City last 6 away LLWLWW

City have a win ratio of 50% on the road in our last 6 where as United’s home record reads 33% in their last 6 at home when comes to wins. The last 6 overall does read a little bit better for United than it does City but let’s just ignore that. We are good on the road if you look back since the start of the season.

United last 6 results
Portsmouth (H) 1-0 win
Oldham Athletic (A) 1-1 draw
Blackburn Rovers (H) 1-1 draw
Walsall (A) 1-2 win
Bury (A) 0-3 win
MK Dons (H) 2-1 win

City’s last 6 results
Bristol Rovers (A) 3-1 loss
Northampton Town (H) 1-2 loss
Yeovil Town (A) 2-0 loss
Fleetwood Town (A) 1-2 win
Oxford United (H) 3-2 win
Peterborough United (H) 1-3 loss

Last 6 league encounters between City and United
Sep 2017 – City 1-0 United
Apr 2014 – Rovers 0-0 City
Dec 2013 – City 0-1 United
Apr 2013 – City 0-2 United
Sep 2012 – United 4-0 City
Jan 2012 – United 2-0 City

Goals in numbers, last 6 games
For – United 10, City 8
Conceded – United 4, City 13
Blanks – United 0, City 1
Clean sheets – United 2, City 0

Goals in numbers United home/City away (last 6)
For – United 7, City 7
Conceded – United 8, City 9
Blanks – United 0, City 1
Clean sheets – United 1, City 1

Leading scorers
13 Charlie Wyke (City)
7 David Ball (United)
Of note, loanee Keiffer Moore scored 13 for United but only recently made a move to Barnsley. He is still officially United’s leading scorer this season.

League placings difference
City – 2 places – United

Boz’s match verdict: Home win

5 Fun Facts

1. Keiffer Moore who was recently on loan at Rotherham United from Ipswich Town has moved to Barnsley in the Championship this month after the Bantams were linked to the striker. Moore hasn’t scored in his last 7 games, his last goal way back in November. Moore’s career scoring record sees him score in just under 1 in ever 4 games throughout his professional career with this current campaign his most successful with 13 goals in 27 games. Last season he hit double figures for the first time with 10, but at conference level and then failing to find the net a single time in 11 games in the 2nd half of that season for Ipswich. His scoring totals for previous seasons read 2, 4 and 5 prior to that. Will it prove a worthwhile loss for both United and City? Or has Moore found the touch and keep it?

2. Only Man City, Wolves and Wigan have a better away record in the top 5 tiers of the English game this season in the leagues. Both Man City and Wigan have earned 31 points on their travels, Wolves 30 and whilst the Bantams have earned 29 points. Macclesfield of the Conference have also earned 29 points, but have a much inferior goal difference of 2 with the Bantams scoring 7 more goals than their opposition. This means if you combined all away tables, Bradford city sit 4th in the nation only 2 points off top spot.

3. Former Middlesbrough youngster, Charlie Wyke has now hit 20 goals in just under a calendar month since joining Bradford City at the end of January 31st 2017. This means he has averaged a goal in almost every 2nd match playing in 46 games since his move from Carlisle United.

4. City are currently 2 places ahead of United, but the last time City finished above the Millers was back in the 2008/09 season where a Stuart McCall’s City finished 2 points shy of the play offs in 9th in League 2 whilst Mark Robin’s United were a further 9 points adrift in 14th.

5. Back in time…….Tuesday 23rd January 1996, Rotherham United took on Bradford City in the 3rd division at Millmoor. The result was 2-0 to the millers thanks to Ian Breckin and Andy Roscoe. Ian’s Breckin’s last away win in the league as a player came in Feb 2011 as Chesterfield won 0-1 at Valley Parade. That was Breckin’s last season in the football league.

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