Birmingham City provide the opposition for Paul Warne’s Rotherham United as they travel to St Andrew’s on Saturday in the Sky Bet Championship. We take a look at who the Millers will be facing in our opposition analysis…
In the Dugout
Garry Monk will be in the dugout for Birmingham City on Saturday. The 39-year old played as a centre-back in his career progressing through the Torquay United youth system before representing Southampton, Stockport County, Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and Swansea City, where he made over 250 career appearances, making over 200 for the latter. At Swansea, he won promotion from League One and the Championship as well as winning the Football League Cup, Football League Trophy and the FAW Premier Cup twice.
As a manager, he began his career with Swansea originally as a player-manager in February 2014, before becoming full-time manager in May 2014. After departing in December 2015, he joined Leeds United in June 2016 before quitting the club to join Middlesbrough in June 2017. He left in December 2017 and joined Birmingham City in March 2018, who he steered clear of relegation in the Championship last season.
Birmingham come into the game sitting in 18th, one place above Rotherham, level on points but with a better goal difference. In their last five games, they have won once and drawn four. They haven’t been beaten in seven, with their last defeat coming against Bolton in August. In their most recent outing, they drew with Brentford at Griffin Park. Michael Morrison put the Blues ahead before Josh McEachran equalised for the Bees. Maikel Kieftenbeld was sent-off in the fixture following an off-the-ball incident with Neal Maupay.
This is the 32nd competitive meeting between these sides, with the Millers picking up six victories. Birmingham have prevailed 16 times and there has been nine draws. Birmingham are unbeaten the last three times that these sides have met with a 1-1 draw the last result in April 2017. At the AESSEAL New York Stadium, a goal by Kerim Frei was cancelled out by Danny Ward in the 85th minute to share the points between the sides. The last time Rotherham won was in September 2015, where a 2-0 victory at St Andrew’s gave all three points to the Millers, courtesy of goals from Matt Derbyshire and Tony Andreu. That is Rotherham’s only victory over the Blues in twenty-nine years.
Ones to Watch
Our Ones to Watch start with goalkeeper and ex-Miller Lee Camp. The 34-year old made 60 appearances for Rotherham and joined Birmingham in the summer following his release from Cardiff City. Another stopper they could call upon is Connal Trueman, who progressed through Birmingham’s youth academy. He has had productive loan spells at Leamington and Solihull Moors and started this season as Garry Monk’s number one.
In defence, Maxime Colin has been a useful addition since joining on a four-year deal from Brentford, for an undisclosed fee. He has represented France at Under 20 level and has played football in France and Belgium. He could be line up in the defence alongside 30-year old Michael Morrison, who scored in midweek against Brentford and has amassed over 500 career appearances.
In midfield, Craig Gardner is an experienced stalwart in the Championship. The 31-year old has represented England at Under 21 level and has also turned out for Aston Villa, Sunderland and West Brom in his career. Another midfielder who is one to watch is Jacques Maghoma, who has now made over 100 appearances for the Blues. The DR Congo international has two assists and a goal to his name this season.
Upfront, Che Adams is their top scorer with three goals so far in 2018/19. The 22-year old rose from non-League before being spotted by Sheffield United. He joined Birmingham for an undisclosed fee and has been a virtual ever-present upfront with Lukas Jutkiewicz.