Oxford United provide the opposition for Paul Warne's men at the AESSEAL New York Stadium in Sky Bet League One on Tuesday night. Here we analyse who the Millers are facing in our opposition in focus...
In the Dugout
Caretaker boss Derek Fazackerley will be in charge of Oxford on Tuesday night. The former defender represented Blackburn Rovers, Chester City, York City, Bury and Kumu in his career, making over 700 appearances in total. He made a record 671 appearances at Blackburn Rovers during his eighteen year playing career.
After hanging up his boots, he enjoyed time at Newcastle United, Manchester City (Scout), Huddersfield Town, Leicester City and Birmingham City before joining Oxford in July 2014, as an assistant manager to Michael Appleton. After Pep Clotet was sacked in January 2018, Fazackerley was placed in temporary charge and will be in the dugout for the U’s on Tuesday night.
Oxford come into the game in 12th position in the third tier, eight points off the play-offs. Oxford have lost three of their last four league matches, with a 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers their most recent outing. In between the league matches, they were knocked out of the EFL Trophy by Chelsea U21s.
This is the 27th meeting between these two sides with Rotherham winning nine, Oxford winning 10, while seven draws have been played out. Rotherham have been undefeated in the last two meetings between the sides, with the most recent being a 3-3 draw in League One away at the Kassam Stadium. Goals from Joe Newell, Ryan Williams and Kieffer Moore saw the Millers fight back with Jack Payne, Josh Ruffels and Curtis Nelson on target for the hosts in an entertaining fixture which ended in both teams sharing the spoils on the day.
Ones to Watch
28-year old keeper Simon Eastwood signed for Oxford in 2016 from Blackburn Rovers and has been ever present for the U's. He has represented England U18 and U19 squads.
In defence, Vice-captain John Mousinho is likely to start at the heart of the rearguard. The experienced defender has over 200 career appearances to his name and having previously represented Burton Albion in the Championship. He has recently been paired with on loan Man City defender Isacc Buckley-Ricketts and wing backs Todd Kane and Ashley Brown-Smith, who are on loan from Chelsea and Manchester City respectively.
In midfield, former Manchester United man Joe Rothwell is arguably the man to watch. He has represented England from U16 to U20 level and scored in Oxford's last match against Bristol Rovers. Former Everton man Ryan Ledson who, like Rothwell, has represented England from U16 to U20 level could also be selected in the U’s engine room on Tuesday night.
The attacking duo of Wes Thomas and Jonathan Obika has proven to be a fruitful relationship. Between them, they have scored 15 goals. On loan striker Gino Van Kessell is another option should Oxford decide to mix it up, with the Curaçao international finding the net on three occasions this term.