Preview: Rotherham United vs. Cardiff City
Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Championship clash between Rotherham United and Cardiff City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
This fixture initially took place on March 18 before it was abandoned shortly after half time due to a waterlogged pitch, with Cardiff leading 1-0 at the time.
When the two teams met last month, the Millers and Bluebirds held a five and four-point lead over the relegation zone with nine games left, leaving the result of their meeting at the New York Stadium as potentially pivotal.
Cardiff would have felt well on their way to victory when leading at the break, only for the heavens to open in Yorkshire and leave the teams with an unplayable pitch.
The EFL eventually ruled that the match would be played in full, a decision which favoured Rotherham more so than Cardiff, and the clubs now do battle with the chance to effectively secure their second-tier status for another 12 months.
If either team prevails on Thursday, they will be all but mathematically safe, a result of their significantly-better goal difference in comparison to 22nd-placed Reading.
Rotherham are currently on a four-game winless streak, yet Matt Taylor‘s side should not necessarily be judged on accumulating just two points during that period.
A goalless draw was earned at Norwich City before Rotherham twice came from behind to finish 2-2 with leaders Burnley, securing another crucial stalemate in the long term.
Last time out, they succumbed to a 91st-minute winner at Bristol City, which naturally frustrated Taylor and his squad, but they have a chance to make amends on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Cardiff have earned four crucial points from a double-header with Watford and Cardiff City, bouncing back from having previously suffered back-to-back defeats.
While Sabri Lamouchi knows that his team are not over the line just yet, momentum is in the Welsh club’s favour as they make another long trip to Rotherham’s home ground.
Rotherham United Championship form:
Cardiff City Championship form:
Cardiff boss Lamouchi will be forced into at least one change with goalkeeper Ryan Allsop expected to miss the rest of the season with an adductor injury.
Jak Alnwick will take his place between the sticks, although that may prove to be the only alternation given Cardiff’s recent results.
Rotherham United possible starting lineup:
Johansson; Peltier, Humphreys, Wood, Bramall; Lindsay, Coventry; Ogbene, Quina, Fosu-Henry; Hugill
Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Alnwick; Romeo, Ng, Kipre, McGuinness, O’Dowda; Sawyers, Wintle, Ralls; Etete, Kaba
We say: Rotherham United 1-1 Cardiff City
Since the previous game, the scenario has changed with each clubs closer to retaining their second-tier status. Both teams will no doubt push for all three points, yet a draw could eventually be accepted by both sides in the second half if the opportunity arises given that it would leave them with a four-point cushion with two matches left.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data
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