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Scouting Report: Rotherham United (Away)

What sort of challenge will the Millers give Reading this afternoon?

Norwich City v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Scott Marshall leads the Royals into another fixture this weekend as they travel to Rotherham for a relegation six-pointer. The Millers are among the lowest scoring-sides in the division with just 21 goals to their name - only Bolton and Ipswich have netted fewer. It is a massive game for both sides, so I wouldn’t expect either team to go all guns blazing from the first whistle.

What are Rotherham’s strengths?

Rotherham’s main threat will be from set-pieces, which may end up being very effective for Paul Warne’s side because of the Royals’ frailty in the air. Teams like Millwall have tormented Reading aerially and put them under immense pressure, and the Millers could achieve the same - 38% of their goals so far this season have come from dead-ball situations. Meanwhile, 39% of Rotherham’s play so far this season has come down the left-hand side, which has been mainly occupied by left-back Joe Taylor and winger Jon Taylor; meaning Royals right-back Andy Yiadom could be in for a busy afternoon.

What about weaknesses?

Running at the Millers’ defence will be the Royals best chance of success on Saturday evening. Paul Warne’s men are very weak when defending against tricky and quick players, and often give away fouls in dangerous areas. Players like Garath McCleary, Danny Loader and Mo Barrow could have a field day against their shaky defence. Rotherham also really struggle with keeping possession; with an average of just 43.2% of the ball so far this campaign. If the Royals manage to apply enough pressure when the Millers have the ball, they may be able to take control the game and give themselves a chance of winning.

How will the game go?

I am going to be optimistic with my prediction and go with 2-1 to the Royals. After a full week of training with caretaker manager Scott Marshall, I think the Royals will be much better prepared for this contest than they were last Saturday against Sheffield United. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a 0-0; judging by how few goals both teams score. It is a vital game for both sides, as they know they will be in major trouble if they don’t get the three points at The New York Stadium.