Leeds United are the next team to face Paul Warne’s Rotherham United at the AESSEAL New York Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship. Here we take a look at who the Millers will be facing in our opposition analysis…
In the Dugout
Marcelo Bielsa will be the man in the dugout for Leeds United on Saturday. The 63-year old Argentina international was a defender in his playing days, representing Newell’s Old Boys, Instituto and Argentino (R) before retiring when he was just 25-years old.
As a manager, he has managed Newell’s Old Boys, Atlas, América, Vélez Sarsfield, Espanyol, Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, Lazio and Lille before joining Leeds in June 2018. He has also managed Chile and Argentina at international level and has won a host of trophies which include three Primera División Argentina titles.
Leeds come into this game sitting at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table. They are one point clear of second placed Norwich City. They have won 16, drawn six and lost six in the Championship this season but have lost three in their last five in the league, as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round earlier this month.
Their last game ended in defeat, losing 2-1 away at Stoke City. Goals by Sam Clucas and Joe Allen sealed all three points for Stoke despite Ezgjan Alioski scoring a late consolation for Leeds in stoppage time. PFA Player of the Month for December Pontus Jansson also got sent off for Leeds in that game.
This is the 37th meeting between these sides, with the first meeting being in September 1951, a game Rotherham won 4-2. The Millers have won 14 of these fixtures, while Leeds have won 16 times, with there being six draws. Leeds have won four of the last five times these teams have met. The last time these teams met was in August 2018, with Leeds winning 2-0 at Elland Road, courtesy of goals from Luke Ayling and Kemar Roofe.
The last time the Millers beat Leeds was in April 2016 as they recorded a 2-1 home win in the Championship. Lee Frecklington opened the scoring for Rotherham before Luke Murphy equalised for Leeds. Greg Halford however scored a stoppage time penalty to secure all three points for the Millers.
Ones to Watch
Our Ones to Watch start with goalkeeper Kiko Casilla. The 32-year old Spanish international joined Leeds from Real Madrid on a free transfer this month and could be in line for his debut. Casilla had won 10 major honours with Madrid, winning three Champions Leagues, one La Liga title, two UEFA Super Cups, three FIFA Club World Cups and one Supercopa de España.
In defence, Captain Liam Cooper has recently come back from injury to start for Leeds in recent games. The 27-year old has represented Scotland at U17 and U19 level and started his career at Hull City. He had loan spells at Carlisle United, Huddersfield Town and Chesterfield before joining the latter on a permanent deal. He joined Leeds in 2014 and has made over 130 appearances.
In midfield, winger Jack Clarke has been the upcoming star in the Championship. Born in York, the eighteen-year old has made an impression in the Championship since stepping up from Leeds’ academy. He has attracted interest from a variety of Premier League clubs since stepping up and looks to be an exciting talent. He could feature in midfield alongside Pablo Hernández; the experienced Spanish international has scored seven goals for Leeds and has 10 assists this season.
Upfront, Kemar Roofe is Leeds’ top scorer. The 26-year old has scored 14 goals this season and has made over 100 appearances for Leeds since joining from Oxford in 2016. Roofe has also attracted interest from Premier League clubs and was part of the PFA Team of the Year in 2015/16 for League Two.