The Sky Bet Championship returns from the international break on Friday night as two Yorkshire sides go at it when Rotherham United look to ease their early relegation concerns when they host promotion chasing Leeds United.
These two teams have had very different seasons to date but the derby element of this match could see the form go out of the window. Rotherham will move to within a point of safety with a win while Leeds are looking to close in on the top two.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels with the build-up beginning at 7.30pm ahead of kick off at 8pm.
There is no doubt that this has been a troubled start to the season for Rotherham United. Just over a third of the way into the campaign they have just two wins to their name and are in the bottom three. With that in mind, it probably wasn’t a surprise that Matt Taylor was relieved of his duties during the international break, particularly as they went into the latest hiatus off the back of a 5-0 pounding at the hands of a Watford side who were within range at the time.
The surprise is that they haven’t yet replaced him despite having two weeks to do so and so it will be a caretaker in charge for this match looking to get a tune out of the Millers. The one thing he’ll be wanting to do is find a way for them to create chances. That has been their problem in the early stages of the season and just 15 goals in 16 games tells its own story. They have only lost twice in eight matches on home soil though.
After a dodgy start to the season where they were adjusting to life under Daniel Farke, Leeds United have caught fire in recent times and will make the short trip to Rotherham having won seven of their last nine. It has been well-documented about how many chances they create but the real difference between this team and the one which got relegated is they are improved defensively and that foundation, coupled with their firepower, has them on course to push for promotion.
While Leeds are going well this term, they have been beaten three times on their travels, although in their last away game they got the better of Leicester City which is as good a form guide as you are going to get in this division. Leeds did have a few players away on international duty, which is never a guarantee they will be as prepared and ready for this game as they might normally be, but they are huge favourites for this game based on form.
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Sam Clucas went off with a hamstring issue in the 5-0 thrashing at Watford last time out and the midfielder will be absent for this match. It remains to be seen what other changes Wayne Carlisle makes to try and get a tune out of this side.
Leeds United have an injury concern over Sam Byram who doesn’t look like he is going to be fit to play in this one. Junior Firpo is likely to be his replacement. Djed Spence and Stuart Dallas remain out for the foreseeable future.
The general consensus is that Leeds United are good things here but Leicester City and Ipswich Town have both been to Rotherham this season with the former winning with a goal six minutes from time while the latter were not able to get over the line here. Rotherham have only lost two games at home this term and if the sacking of the manager has freed them up a touch like it often does then there are claims that they can be more competitive here.
The bet which catches my eye here is for Leeds United to have less than 19.5 shots. They are yet to clear this line in eight matches on their travels while neither Leicester or Ipswich came close to reaching this line. These matches after the international break can often take a while to ignite and you would imagine that Rotherham will defend deep and look to snuff out the Leeds threat in behind and keep the game in front of them. This line looks a touch high to me.
Back Leeds United – Under 19.5 match shots for a 3/10 stake at 1.73 with Bet365