Sheffield United are the next test for Paul Warne’s Rotherham United at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday, in the SkyBet Championship. We take a look at who the Millers will be facing in this lunchtime kick-off in our opposition analysis….
In the Dugout
Former Rotherham defender Chris Wilder will be in the dugout for Sheffield United on Saturday. The 51-year old made over 130 appearances for the Millers between 1992 and 1996. He has made over 400 career appearances representing clubs such as Sheffield United, Walsall, Charlton Athletic, Leyton Orient, Notts County, Bradford City, Northampton Town, Lincoln City, Brighton and Halifax Town.
After retirement, he became manager of Alfreton Town in 2001. In the 27 weeks he was in charge, he won four trophies: the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, the League Cup, President’s Cup and the Derbyshire Senior Cup. He then joined Halifax and managed over 300 games at The Shay before joining Alan Knill as assistant at Bury. After six months at Bury, he took charge of Oxford United and won the Conference Play-Offs in 2010. He joined Northampton Town in 2014 and won the League Two title in 2016. He joined Sheffield United afterwards and gained promotion to the Championship by winning League One, where he also won the LMA Manager of the Year in the 2016/17 season.
Sheffield United currently sit in 4th place in the Championship, three points off top spot. However, the Blades have only won once in their last five games, drawing two and losing two. Sheffield haven’t won in the last two games also with a goalless draw against rivals Sheffield Wednesday last time out. Wednesday’s goalkeeper Cameron Dawson saved a 15th minute penalty by David McGoldrick to share the points in the Championship.
This is the 37th meeting between these sides with Sheffield United winning 21 of these fixtures. Rotherham have won eight while there has been seven draws. In the last 11 games, Rotherham have only won once, which was in September 2013. A 3-1 home victory in League One courtesy of goals from Kieran Agard, Daniel Nardiello and Rob Milsom cancelled out Jose Baxter’s opener and it gave all three points to the Millers on that day. The last time the teams met, Sheffield United won in April 2014 in League One. A 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane courtesy of a stoppage time penalty by Ben Davies snatched all three points for the hosts.
Ones to Watch
Our Ones to Watch starts with goalkeeper Dean Henderson. The 21-year old is currently on a season-long loan from Manchester United and has represented England from U16 level to U21 level and was part of the FIFA U20 World Cup triumph in 2017. He was an EFL Trophy runner up in 2018 with Shrewsbury Town as well as being in the PFA Team of the Year in League One last season.
In defence, Chris Basham is a main part of that back-three for the Blades. He has represented Sheffield United over 180 times and he signed a new deal to keep him at Bramall Lane until 2021. He could be partnered by Jack O’Connell with the former England U19 representative spending a loan spell at Rotherham in the 2012/13 season.
In midfield, Northern Ireland international Oliver Norwood has three assists to his name this season. The former Manchester United youth player is currently on loan from Brighton and has his country over 50 times.
Up front, experienced striker Billy Sharp is the Blades’ top scorer. The captain has 11 goals to his name this season and is currently in second place in the Championship top scorers list, with Brentford’s Neal Maupay being top. The Blades can also call upon David McGoldrick who has netted five goals this season after his summer move from Ipswich Town on a free transfer.