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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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12 January 2019 Venue Portman Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Tractor Boys v Millers

11 January 2019

A trip to Portman Road to face Ipswich Town is the next test for Paul Warne’s Rotherham United in the Sky Bet Championship. Here we take a look at who the Millers will be facing in our opposition analysis…

In the Dugout

Paul Lambert will be the man in the dugout for Ipswich Town on Saturday. The 49-year old was a midfielder in his playing days, making over 570 career appearances. He represented St Mirren, Motherwell, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic and Livingston as well as representing Scotland League XI, Scotland B, and Scotland U21 and senior sides. As a player, he won a variety of trophies including the UEFA Champions League with Dortmund and the Scottish League Championship four times. Individually, he also became SFWA Footballer of the Year in 2002 as well as being inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

As a manager, he has managed Livingston, Wycombe Wanderers, Colchester United, Norwich City, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Wolves and Stoke City before taking charge of Ipswich in October 2018. He is best known for his time at Norwich City, where he took them from League One to the Premier League in two seasons, first winning the League One title in 2010, before finishing runner-up in the Championship in 2011.

Stats

Ipswich currently sit bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table, 10 points away from safety and they have conceded the most goals in the league with 46. In their last five league matches, they have won once, drew once and lost three. Furthermore, they have lost four consecutive matches coming into the game, with a 1-0 loss away at Accrington Stanley being the last result. A second half goal by Billy Kee knocked Ipswich out of the Cup and took Accrington to round four.

Previous Meetings

This is the 32nd time these teams have met, with the first meeting being in August 1954. Rotherham have won nine times while Ipswich have won 14 times, with there being eight draws. Ipswich have only won once in the last five meetings between the sides, with the Millers winning three and there being one draw. Rotherham have also won the last two times they’ve faced the Tractor Boys with consecutive 1-0 home wins. In August 2018, Michael Smith’s last-minute winner sealed all three points for the Millers that day.

Ones to Watch

Our Ones to Watch start with goalkeeper Dean Gerken. The 33-year old has taken the number one shirt in recent weeks from Polish international Bartosz Białkowski following some impressive performances. Starting in the youth system at Southend United, his first break into first-team football was at Colchester United, with a loan spell at Darlington as well, before making a move to Bristol City in 2009. He joined Ipswich Town in 2013 on a free transfer.

In defence, January signing Calum Elder will be looking to start. The 23-year old Australia U20 international is on loan from Leicester City till the end of the season and has represented a handful of Football League clubs including Wigan Athletic last season.

In midfield, Andre Dozzell is attracting interest from clubs in the Premier League. The son of former footballer Jason Dozzell, Andre has represented England from U16 level to U20 level and he made his Ipswich debut when he was just 16. However, his appearances have been restricted after tearing his cruciate ligament on the opening day of the 2017-18 season and has slowly made his way back into the first team in recent months. Ipswich could call upon new signing Simon Dawkins after a successful trial. The former Tottenham youth player was a free agent following his release from MLS side San Jose Earthquakes.

Upfront, Ipswich have added Will Keane and Colin Quaner to boost their strike force. Keane joined on loan from Hull City and came on for his debut against Accrington. Quaner has joined on loan from Huddersfield Town with the German international helping Huddersfield into the Premier League in 2017.

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Match Reports

REPORT | Ipswich 1 v 0 Rotherham

12 January 2019

Millers slip to narrow defeat.....

ROTHERHAM United made the long trek from Suffolk empty-handed as Will Keane’s first-half strike gave Ipswich Town a much-needed victory, in their fight for Championship survival, at the expense of the Millers.  

Following a lacklustre first-half display, the Millers were trailing at the break due to Keane’s point-blank effort and despite a much-improved second-half performance, they were unable to breach a resolute home defence.  

Following their narrow victory over Preston North End, in their last league outing, boss Paul Warne made three changes to his starting line-up for the relegation clash.   

Zak Vyner was recalled to the right-back slot while Sean Raggett and Clark Robertson formed a new-look Rotherham central defensive partnership – with Semi Ajayi asked to play a holding midfield role, in front of the back four.

Jon Taylor and Anthony Forde were expected to provide the ammunition from the flanks with Michael Smith plying his trade as the lone frontman at Portman Road.

The hosts, who had four January signings in their starting line-up, had the first sight of goal when Trevoh Chalobah’s marauding run and cross was diverted to safety by Robertson before Ajayi showed his defensive instincts to usher the ball into touch under pressure from Keane.

Moments later, Marek Rodak kept his nerve to deal with a heavy backpass from Robertson – with Collin Quaner ready to pounce before Vyner became the first to see yellow for a hefty challenge on Freddie Sears near the touchline.

The Millers had a scare when Cole Skuse took aim from distance with a low effort which took a slight deflection before appearing to strike the arm of Raggett, but the referee waved away vehement home appeals.

Just before the half-hour mark, Vyner showed bravery to deny Sears on the edge of the box before Joe Mattock had the Millers’ first shot in anger with a miscued effort which was hacked away by a retreating home defender.

However, Ipswich broke the deadlock, just seconds later, when Sears showed fleet of foot to dig out a cross from the left flank and with Raggett failing to take charge of the situation, the ball fell kindly for Keane, who fired into the bottom corner of the net from point-blank range.

The Millers responded positively to the setback and Taylor’s snap shot was blocked en-route to goal before Robertson prodded wide in the ensuing melee. Moments later, Vyner curled in a tantalising centre which was only half-cleared by the home defence into the path of Taylor, who could only balloon an effort over.

The Millers were forced into a defensive reshuffle when Raggett collided with Luke Chambers, who left both players needing treatment, but the Norwich loanee did not return to the proceedings and Ajayi was moved back into the back four – with Ryan Williams entering the fray.

Moments later, Ben Wiles was felled by Cole Skuse in an inviting position and Forde swung the resultant free-kick into the danger area and Ajayi, in a duel with his marker, almost in avertedly diverted the ball towards goal, but the ball flew wide.

Just shy of the break, Jack Lankester’s corner was nodded into the path of Sears, who appeared to have nudged Wiles, before hooking over from close range before Mattock had a glimpse of goal, at the other end, but he dragged a tame effort harmlessly wide of the target.

Rotherham squandered an opportunity to level matters, in first half stoppage time, when Forde drove hard down the touchline to deliver a tantalising cross which fell invitingly for Taylor, who got the ball under his spell, before volleying over when he really should have done better.

In the last act of the half, Skuse became the next to incur the wrath of the referee with a late tackle on Williams, which earned the home midfielder a caution.

Half-time: Ipswich Town 1 Rotherham United 0

With the words of Warne ringing in their ears, the Millers started the second half in a positive vein and Vaulks rose above his marker to meet Forde’s free-kick but he could not control his header, as it looped over the home crossbar.

Moments later, Wiles showed great tenacity to win possession and Smith picked up the pieces to unleash a fierce effort from distance which brought a fine parried save from Dean Gerken.

The Millers were looking a transformed outfit after the break and Wiles’ tapped free-kick paved the way for Vaulks, to drill a low effort which was smartly diverted to safety by Gerken before Wiles was the next to threaten the home goal with a snap shot which took a slight deflection of a home defender, as it whistled narrowly wide.

Just before the hour mark, Ipswich were somewhat fortuitous when Williams’ ball over the top narrowly evaded the attentions of Taylor, who could not control the ball before Gerken snuffed out the danger, at the second attempt.

The Millers were penning the home side deep inside their own half but they missed an opportunity to equalise when good work from Wiles and Mattock saw Smith find Forde, who hung the ball back into the air and Smith arched his neck to head goalwards from six-yards out, but his effort narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Smith was in the thick of the action and moments later, he cleverly worked a yard of space on James Collins, to curl a long-range effort which flew into the home faithful behind the goal.

Moments later, Vaulks clipped a delicious cross into the box but agonisingly for the Millers, both Smith and Taylor were unable to meet his centre, despite being just yards away from goal before Gerken showed fleet of foot to pluck Williams’ hanging cross out of the sky, under pressure from Robertson.

In the next Millers attack, Mattock fluffed his lines when he fired over from an inviting position on the edge of the box after the home side failed to deal with a long-throw into the box before Vaulks drilled a daisycutter which forced Gerken in a smart, low save to his right.

In a late visitors’ flurry, the home side were riding their luck when Williams’ dangerous centre fizzed across the box before Robertson’s nodded flick on looked inch-perfect for Mattock to tap home, but the full-back was unable to meet a clean connection, despite having the goal at his mercy and Gerken managed to bundle the ball clear.

Deep in stoppage time, Rotherham launched the ball into the box and following pinball in the box, a number of Millers’ players, including Ajayi, attempted to stab the ball forwards before Mattock prodded goalwards, but his effort was hacked clear from near the home line – to the relief of all those with an Ipswich persuasion.   

Full-time- Ipswich Town 1 Rotherham United 0  

Ipswich Town 1

Rotherham United 0

Teams:- Ipswich- Gerken, Chambers, Pennington, Chalobah, Skuse, Keane, Sears (Nsiala 90), Elder, Lankester (Dawkins 73), Collins, Quaner (Downes 65). Unused- Bialkowski, Harrison, Bishop, Huws.

Rotherham- Rodak, Vyner (Wood 89), Mattock, Vaulks, Ajayi, Forde (Yates 70), Taylor, Robertson, Smith, Wiles, Raggett (Williams 37). Unused- Price, Palmer, Ihiekwe, Jones.

Referee- J Linington

Attendance- 20893 (729)

 

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