Opposition report: Rotherham United

Blues come into the game having only lost once in their last five league outings.


An in-depth look at today's opponents...


This is Rotherham's third game in seven days due to a fixture build-up caused by Coronavirus outbreaks in their squad.

In the two games they've played this week, they've won once - beating QPR 3-1, before losing 1-0 on Thursday night to Coventry City. 

In general, it's been a season of adapting for the Millers, who were promoted in the campaign prior after finishing second in League One, five points behind eventual champions Coventry City. 

Rotherham have played 39 games so far, winning 11, drawing 6 and losing 22. Only Wycombe Wanderers have lost fewer games in the league since September. 


Well known to all Millers fans, manager Paul Warne has spent time at Rotherham United as both player and manager. He spent nine years playing for the team across two spells and has been the manager at the New York Stadium since 2016, overseeing last season's promotion.

In the 2017/18 season he took his team to the Championship via the play-offs, before they were relegated the season after. 

As a player, Warne was known for being a combative midfielder - turning out over 450 times for the likes of Rotherham United, Oldham Athletic and Yeovil Town. 


It may have been even tougher for Rotherham United, had they not had strikers Freddie Ladapo and Michael Smith leading their line.

Between them, they've dispatched 19 goals this season but it's the burly Smith who's played an important role in recent weeks. 

Scoring in that huge 3-1 win against QPR earlier this week, the Wallsend-born striker has worked his way up the footballing ladder after emerging as a youth talent at Darlington over a decade ago.

In recent weeks, Smith has scored goals in wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City. 


Jeremie Bela's late penalty meant September's clash between the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw. 

Rotherham had taken the lead with a spot-kick of their own, which was dispatched by Kieran Sadlier in the 87th minute. 

But five minutes later, Blues were level through the Frenchman's own effort from 12 yards in a game that also saw Lukas Jutkiewicz hit the crossbar. 


Blues' higher standing over Rotherham in the English leagues after their earlier formation meant the two sides didn't meet until the 1950s when, in 1951, Blues beat the Millers 4-0 in the Second Division at St. Andrew's. 

There's been 34 meetings in total, Blues winning 18, Rotherham 10, with six draws. 

Blues have a good recent record against today's home side, they've won three and drawn three of the last six fixtures between them. 


Many know Rotherham United as 'The Millers' - but where did their popular nickname originate?

It came from their old stadium - which was known as "Millmoor". Built in 1907, their old ground was on the site of a flour mill. They played there until 2008. 

The stadium is still in use for other sporting activities.