Club Competitions

Match Forecast: Shrewsbury Town vs Rotherham United

Two of League One’s promotion chasers will battle it out, as first placed Shrewsbury Town host fourth-placed Rotherham United.

The home side Shrewsbury come into the game on the back of a victory away at Fleetwood Town. The Shrews have three wins in their last five league games, drawing one game and losing once against promotion outsiders Plymouth Argyle.

Meanwhile, their visitors Rotherham last tasted defeat in December last year, losing 2-1 to Bristol Rovers. They come into the game after beating Oxford United 3-1 at home on Tuesday. This has ensured that they have continued on their emphatic unbeaten run, which now stands at twelve league games. The South Yorkshire side have also recorded five successive victories.

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Shrewsbury deservedly lead the pack in League One this campaign, with their clear identity on how they want to play their football. However, Rotherham United manager Paul Warne enthused at the challenge, and contended to the Millers’ official club website that: “Everyone involved in football would much rather play in the games at the top than the banana skins at the bottom. The lads are really looking forward to it and I think it’s a good way to show how far that we have come.”

The Shrewsbury manager who is a former Miller and teammate of Warne, acknowledged Rotherham’s positive form when talking to Shrewsbury’s official website, but Paul Hurst also added that: “In all honesty, there will be no greater desire than normal to win”.

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26-year-old striker Stefan Payne is the hosts’ top scorer this season, with a tally of eight goals in all competitions. The away side’s top scorer is former Fleetwood Town striker David Ball who has scored seven goals in all competitions. Both strikers have a similar dependency to hold up the ball with efficiency.

Moreover, when the sides last met in October last year, Stefan Payne proved to be a crucial factor in the Blues’ success, as they beat an out of form Rotherham side 2-1 at the AESSEAL New York Stadium. Payne scored late on in the 93rd minute to ensure all three points returned to New Meadow.

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Certainly, based on form, the Millers are the favoured side. However, as both sides currently possess solid defences and a similar style of fierce play, this game looks likely to be won by a very narrow margin either way.

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