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Opposition Lowdown: Relegation-Battling Rotherham United

Reading return to RG2 this evening to face Rotherham at the Select Car Leasing Stadium. Join us as we take a look at the opposition.

Rotherham United v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship - AESSEAL New York Stadium Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images


Rotherham United secured promotion back to the Championship at their first attempt last season, finishing second in League One, two points behind champions Wigan Athletic. They currently sit in 20th place in the league, four points clear of the relegation zone, having won seven games, drawn 12 and lost 11. Their home form has been stronger than their away form, with five of their wins coming at the New York Stadium, while seven of their losses have come away from home.

The two sides faced each other in August last year, when The Millers hammered Reading 4-0 at home, with goals from Richard Wood, Conor Washington, Jamie Lindsay and Chiedozie Ogbene.

The boss

Matt Taylor: Taylor took over as Rotherham manager in October last year after Paul Warne left the Millers to take over the reins at League One Derby County. The former defender started his coaching career at his old club Exeter City where he worked as a defensive coach and manager of their under 23 side before becoming City manager following the departure of Paul Tisdale in 2018.

Taylor spent four years as manager of The Grecians and guided them back to League One after they finished second in League Two during the 2021/22 season. Taylor usually favours a 3-5-2 formation and likes his sides to work the ball into the opposition box.


Rotherham had a busy January transfer window which included the signings of two former Royals, with defender Sean Morrison joining on a free transfer and winger Tariq Fosu signing on loan from Brentford. Striker Jordan Hugill also arrived at the club, signing on a free transfer from Norwich City.

The Millers made a number of loan signings, with defenders Leo Hjelde (Leeds United) and Bailey Wright (Sunderland) and midfielders Conor Coventry (West Ham United) and Domingos Quina (Watford) all joining for the remainder of the season. They did however lose star man Dan Barlaser, who joined Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee.

Watford v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship - Vicarage Road Photo by Kieran Cleeves/PA Images via Getty Images

Sean Morrison will not face his former club after being ruled out for the rest of the season with a thigh injury. The game may come too soon for defender Leo Hjelde as he continues to recover from an ankle injury. Jordan Hugill may also miss out through illness, while midfielder Ben Wiles is not expected to return in time for Tuesday’s clash.

Expected line-up

Johansson, Peltier, Humphreys, Hall, Bramall, Odoffin, Coventry, Rathbone, Ogbene, Fosu, Eaves

Key player

Chiedozi Ogbene: Ogbene signed for The Millers from Brentford back in August 2019. The Irish forward started his career at Cork City, but also played for Limerick prior to his move to Brentford.

The fast-paced winger became the first African-born player to represent the Republic of Ireland when he made his senior international debut in June 2021. He has since won 13 caps and scored three goals.

Ogbene is the Millers’ top scorer this season with seven goals to his name so far, including a goal against The Royals in August’s tie between the two sides.

One to watch

Conor Coventry: Midfielder Coventry joined Rotherham on loan from West Ham in the January transfer window. He is a product of the Hammers’ youth academy, having been at the club since the age of 10. He made his West Ham debut in 2018 and has gone on to make 10 appearances for the club.

Coventry has had a number of loan spells within the Football League, representing Lincoln City, Peterborough United and MK Dons. The 22-year-old has represented Ireland at every level from under-16 to under-21 and received a call-up to the full national side in 2021.

Coventry is a defensive midfielder with strong passing skills and the ability to shoot from range.