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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, March 19th 2021

MansionBet Match Preview: Rotherham United (H)

City look to get back to winning ways at home when Rotherham United head to Ashton Gate this weekend.

In association with City's Principal Partner MansionBet, we take a closer look at the match...

Nigel Pearson and his squad are very much aware that their last home win came in late January against Huddersfield Town, and they plan to bring their away form – four games unbeaten on the road – back to BS3 to head into the international break on a high.

Wednesday saw City produce a solid defensive display against a Blackburn side who would boast 73.8% possession over the course of the game. But it’s what you do with it that counts and the hosts were unable to find a way past a strong City setup with Max O’Leary keeping a clean sheet.

That was a second successive game without conceding for the Robins, which is credit to their defensive outlook and Pearson’s system of making them a side who are hard to beat.

At the other end of the field, City will acknowledge they weren’t at their complete best though Kasey Palmer gave the keeper one or two shots to contend with, while Famara Diédhiou saw a shot turned on to the post late on as City went a whisker from taking all three points.

Highlights: Blackburn Rovers v Bristol City

All in all, it was a display of promise and at home City have the chance to up the gears against Rotherham United. The Millers have been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 virus of late with a handful of games needing to be rearranged, which could work in their favour. They sit only six points behind Coventry and Birmingham with three games in hand over the Sky Blues and four to catch Lee Bowyer’s team.

With so much to play for for Paul Warne’s men, fans can expect the Millers to head to BS3 with real fight and determination, after all they have already beaten City in the reverse league game back in December. They flexed their physical dominance over the Robins at the AESSAL New York Stadium and found success from the wide areas as Matt Crooks headed in from a right-sided free kick before Michael Smith turned in from a Matt Olusunde cross just before half-time.

That was only their fourth win of the season and they have five more since then, their latest being what could prove a big three points over fellow-relegation contenders Sheffield Wednesday at the start of March. But they were beaten in their five before that and were well beaten by Watford 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Manager Warne and first-team coach Matt Hamshaw missed the 4-1 defeat, and Warne will also sit out tomorrow’s clash at Ashton Gate while he self-isolates after the latest outbreak. Nobody else in the team is self-isolating, only Warne, and so his assistant Richie Barker is expected to take charge in the dugout this Saturday.

Trevor Clarke and Lewis Wing returned to Rotherham training on Thursday but Ben Wiles (hamstring) is not expected to travel to BS3, where it remains to be seen who will start in goal for City. O’Leary is competing for his second start in a row but Pearson has confirmed Dan Bentley is now “much better” after feeling ill on Wednesday.

MATCH DETAILS 

Where: Ashton Gate
When: Saturday, March 20th, 3pm KO
Competition: Sky Bet Championship

Referee: Matthew Donohue
Assistants: George Byrne and Matthew McGrath
Fourth official: Antony Coggins

DOWN MEMORY LANE

Bristol City 1-0 Rotherham United
Ashton Gate

Saturday, December 29th 2018
Sky Bet Championship

Bristol City ended 2018 on a high with Adam Webster’s late header capping off an attacking display to secure the 1-0 victory against Rotherham United.

The Millers went down to nine men in the second half with two yellow cards for Billy Jones and a straight red for Ritchie Towell, as City sent forward wave after wave of attacks at Ashton Gate.

It could have been a rugby score if the home side had been more clinical on the day but Webster’s late header - his first goal for the club - had enough about it to beat Millers’ keeper Marek Rodak and send City into 2019 on the back of three points.

The win extended their unbeaten run to seven games and lifted the Robins to 11th in the Sky Bet Championship.

HEAD TO HEAD*

Bristol City v Rotherham United

Played: 53
City won: 20 (37%)
Drew: 10
City lost: 23

Bristol City goals: 46
Rotherham goals: 38

Bristol City top goalscorer: Famara Diédhiou (10)
Rotherham top goalscorers: Michael Smith (8)

Bristol City most assists: Antoine Semenyo (7)
Rotherham most assists: Daniel Barlaser, Matt Crooks, Matthew Olosunde, Michael Smith (3)

Bristol City clean sheets: 11
Rotherham clean sheets: 6

League positions
Bristol City: 13th (49 points)
Rotherham: 22nd (32 points)

*All competitions unless stated

Kasey Palmer was a creative force at Blackburn
Max O'Leary kept a clean sheet

Robins TV

City versus the Millers will be streamed live on Robins TV. The matchday show, which costs just £10, starts 2.30pm.

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