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Match Previews

Match Preview: Rotherham vs Cambridge Utd

19 November 2021

The U’s head to South Yorkshire on Saturday looking to build on Tuesday night’s FA Cup First Round win over Northampton Town…

Form

Mark Bonner’s men make the trip up to the New York Stadium on Saturday looking to make it four wins in their last seven, as well as consolidating their position in the top half of League One.

Cambridge United form: WDLLW

Prior to Tuesday night’s FA Cup success against Northampton, A humbling 4-1 defeat at the hands MK Dons last weekend proved to be a stark reality check of the quality in League One for United, having previously enjoyed a run of successive wins in the league over sides near the bottom of the table.

However, the U’s returned to winning ways during mid-week, as goals from Harvey Knibbs, Sam Smith and Ben Worman secured United’s progression into the Second Round of the FA Cup; setting up a home tie against one of Exeter City or Bradford City.

Following the same script in which has seen the Millers yo-yo between the second and third tier for the last five seasons, Paul Warne’s side find themselves sitting third in League One; just three points off the automatic promotion places.

Rotherham United form: WWWDW

A trio of international call-ups saw Rotherham’s clash with Shrewsbury postponed, meaning a two-week hiatus of Millers action prior to their clash with Cambridge United on Saturday, beforehand, Warne’s side comfortably secured their place into the Second Round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over ten-man Bromley.

Goals from Ben Wiles, Freddie Ladapo and Will Grigg, without reply from National League side Bromley sets up the Millers for a Second Round tie against Stockport.

An emphatic 5-1 win over promotion chasing Sunderland, coupled with another impressive outing against MK Dons in October has seen the Millers solidify their position within the League One play-offs.

Michael Smith .jpg

Key player: Michael Smith

Rotherham were fortunate to keep hold of prized asset Michael Smith throughout the summer, after the winger bagged ten Championship goals in what was a disappointing season for Paul Warne’s side last campaign. The former Bury and Portsmouth man, now somewhat of an EFL veteran at the age of 30, has not let off this season, having already contributed to 15 goals (12G, 3A) in just 16 League One appearances.

Down Memory Lane

Saturday’s hosts Rotherham boast the historical advantage over the U’s, having won 11 of the 25 games between the two sides, three better than United’s eight wins.

Fans may remember the U’s 6-1 annihilation of Rotherham in Division Two back at the turn of the new millennium, whereby braces from Ian Ashbee and Tom Youngs, coupled with goals from Zema Abbey and Jonas Axeldal secured a memorable comeback win for Roy McFarland’s side.

Most recently, Rotherham ran out 1-0 winners in a League Cup First Round tie in 2015, with Jordan Bowery scoring the game’s only goal in first half stoppage time.

Quick Quotes

U’s Head Coach Mark Bonner on Saturday’s opponents: “Rotherham are very different in terms of the style which they play compared to MK Dons, but they are in great form and have got a strong squad which is very similar to the one that competed in the Championship last year. We know what we are up against and how tough of a task it will be.

“We know we can go there and get a result. We have done it before against the top sides away from home in this division; I think what we have realised, and recognise, is that we must find a real top level to do that.

Paul Warne is not expecting his side to walkover Cambridge this weekend: "Mark is a young manager who I think has done really well. He's got them a promotion; the team are used to winning and they're confident.

"They're not dissimilar to us in the way they play - they cross it and Ironside is a good physical threat up top.

"Take away the recent MK Dons defeat, prior to that they'd won away at Morecambe and Wimbledon and drawn with Doncaster, Ipswich and Wednesday. They are no mugs. They're a good team who know what they are. They have a real identity that I'm really impressed with."

Officials

Andy George will take charge of the game on Saturday at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, with Michael George and Graham Kane being appointed as assistants. Scott Simpson will oversee the clash as fourth official.

How to Watch

U’s fans who haven’t secured their tickets for tomorrow’s game can purchase them on the day of the game at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

International supports can watch the game by purchasing an iFollow Match Pass.

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

Visit the Live Match Centre to access form guides, live text commentary and live access to the match on iFollow

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