This evening, Leeds United travel to Championship strugglers Rotherham United, in a Yorkshire Derby which has ramifications at both the top and bottom of the division.
This is a must win game for Rotherham United. They are currently 11 points cut adrift of safety and they have not won a game in 13. Their only win of the campaign was a 2-1 home victory over Brentford on the 20th of August.
While Leeds’ form has been completely the contrary to Rotherham. Up until last week’s defeat to table toppers, Newcastle United, they were on a run of four games unbeaten which saw them move into the play off places.
Rotherham are again without Lee Frecklington and Kirk Broadfoot, who after being ever-presents during the last two campaigns, have missed much of this season through injury. Today’s home side have clearly missed two of their most important players, as their leadership and desire has not been replaced by any of the current crop of players.
Leeds will have been disappointed to hear that they are missing Pontus Jansson – who looks set to be replaced by Liam Cooper – and Pablo Hernandez. They have been two of their most impressive players this season to help them to rise the table towards the play-off places.
2nd April 2016 – Rotherham United 2 – 1 Leeds United (Championship)
9th January 2016 – Leeds United 2 v 0 Rotherham United (FA Cup)
21 November 2015 – Leeds United 0 v 1 Rotherham United (Championship)
2nd May 2015 – Leeds United 0 – 0 Rotherham United (Championship)
17th October 2014 – Rotherham United 2 – 1 Leeds United (Championship)
The last time these two sides came up against each other in front of the sky cameras was in the 2014/15 Championship season and Rotherham ended up the victors with the winning goal coming via a Jonson Clarke-Harris wonder-strike.
I can the see the scoreline being different this time around. Given Rotherham’s awful form and Leeds’s improvement this season, I’m struggling to see past a victory for the away side.
You never know what could happen in a Yorkshire Derby and the Millers faithful will be hoping that their players can use this occasion to show off the typical Rotherham United grit and passion which has been disappointingly amiss for them this year.
If they do so, it will be a very competitive and hard fought encounter which should go right down the wire. But overall, I see Leeds coming out as the victors with a 3-1 win. That would be a brilliant reaction coming out of last weeks defeat to Newcastle and it would mount pressure on their rivals who are also chasing a play-off place.