Previews Saturday’s Championship clash between Rotherham United and Bristol City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Rotherham United and Bristol City resume competitive action on Saturday afternoon looking for the win which could move them clear of the Championship relegation zone.
Despite coming through unbeaten in their most recent two league fixtures, these two clubs currently occupy 16th and 18th position in the standings.
Earlier in the campaign, Rotherham looked like they may emerge as dark horses for promotion after a solid start to life back in the second tier.
Those expectations have since been lowered, Matt Taylor only delivering 12 points from 11 games since replacing long-serving boss Paul Warne.
Nevertheless, occupying 16th place at this stage of the campaign is above what many club officials and supporters may have anticipated, and the former Exeter City man is in a position where he can move his team towards the mid-table spots.
Taylor and his squad would not have wanted the break for the World Cup, a 1-0 win at Sheffield United being followed by a draw in their second successive away game at Luton Town.
While those games showed that Rotherham have the potential to avoid continuing their yo-yoing trend between divisions, games such as the one on Saturday can make or break their season.
As far as Bristol City are concerned, Nigel Pearson will probably have been relieved for the mid-season reset after six matches without a win in all competitions.
That is extended to just two victories from 14 games since September 14, and it took two draws before the break to avoid dropping into the bottom three.
Those stalemates came against Middlesbrough and Watford, two improving sides under new management, leaving Pearson satisfied with the application of his players.
Although Bristol City head into this game with the third-worst away record in the division, four points have been collected from their last three fixtures on their travels.
Rotherham United Championship form:
Bristol City Championship form:
Bristol City form (all competitions):
Taylor must decide whether to adopt the same tactics which proved effective on the road against Sheffield United and Luton.
Brooke Norton-Cuffy is an alternative to Peter Kioso, depending on the status of the latter’s ankle injury, but the rest of the Rotherham team could stay the same.
Grant Hall and Shane Ferguson are among a number of players who were able to return to training during the World Cup break.
Barring any injury issues, Pearson could stick with the same Bristol City XI which started the goalless draw with Watford.
Antoine Semenyo will only be named among the replacements at best after representing Ghana at the World Cup, the forward making substitute outings against Portugal and Uruguay.
Rotherham United possible starting lineup:
Johansson; Kioso, Peltier, Humphreys, Harding, Bramall; Wiles, Barlaser, Lindsay, Rathbone; Ogbene
Bristol City possible starting lineup:
O’Leary; Vyner, King, Pring; Weimann, Williams, James, Scott, Dasilva; Wells, Conway
We say: Rotherham United 1-1 Bristol City
While each manager knows the importance of a win from this fixture, they will feel the same about restarting action with a defeat. With that in mind, we are backing a competitive low-scoring draw, a result which may suit both teams at this stage.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.