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🔜 Ahead of the game | Royals headed to South Yorkshire for Millers clash

Trip to the New York Stadium concludes a busy month for Reading

26 February 2021

It's a trip to the New York Stadium that's next on the horizon for the Royals, and they will be keen to react quickly on the back of a defeat to Wycombe Wanderers in midweek, against the Millers who themselves have lost four on the bounce.

Paul Warne's side sit 22nd, inside the drop zone, but have a duo of games in hand on the three teams above them. Meanwhile, Veljko Paunović's men can put themselves five points inside the top six with a win in South Yorkshire.

The Royals will be hopeful of completing the double over Rotherham on Saturday, having recorded a resounding 3-0 victory over them in the reverse fixture at Madejski Stadium.

How to watch

Saturday's trip to take on the Millers is available for supporters to watch via iFollow. At this time, there will be no away commentary on the video stream, however Royals supporters will be able to access the home commentary, provided by Rotherham United's in-house commentary team.

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Royals supporters can grab their Match Pass to watch proceedings unfold, by clicking here ahead of our 3pm kick-off in Rotherham.

The opposition

For the second season in a row, Warne forced an instant return to the Championship for the Millers following relegation, and his team are very much up for the fight as they look to retain their second tier status for the first time since 2016. The Millers are just two points adrift of safety, despite winning just one of their last five.

Within their squad, Rotherham have one former Royal, defender Angus MacDonald spent six years within the Reading Academy, but despite enjoying loan spells with Salisbury City, Basingstoke Town, Torquay United and AFC Wimbledon, he failed to make a senior appearance for the club.

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Last time out, Rotherham fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest, who continued to climb the table. Their most recent victory came during a 2-1 win over Preston North End, during which the Millers had a Joe Rafferty own-goal and a Ben Wiles strike to thank for three points at Deepdale.

In January, Rotherham bolstered their ranks with the loan signing of Lewis Wing, who arrived from play-off chasers Middlesbrough. 

One to watch: Matt Crooks

January's Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month, Crooks has enjoyed an impressive third season with the Millers, contributing seven goals and three assists in 30 games from midfield. His strikes have inspired his side to victories over Preston, Bristol City and Boro.

The Leeds-born 6ft4in man began his career as a youth product of Huddersfield Town's academy, but after six years that included just one senior Terriers appearance and loan spells with FC Halifax Town, Hartlepool United and Accrington Stanley, Crooks departed the John Smith Stadium in February 2015.

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He was soon snapped up by Stanley, for whom he left a lasting impression during his loan and he went on to enjoy a fruitful season in League Two that earnt him a move to Scottish giants Rangers in July 2016.

However, just a year later having been limited to a handful of chances with the Gers, he returned home to England with League One side, Northampton Town. He rediscovered his form with the Cobblers, and earnt a move to the Championship with the Millers in January 2019, proving a hit ever since, going on to clock up over 80 appearances to date.

Pre-match chat

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Head-to-head

The Royals will hope to make it eight games unbeaten against the Millers on Saturday, as they hope to extend a run that stretches back to April 2015 when Rotherham last got the better of us. 

When the two sides met earlier in the season, Yakou Méïté stole the show with a brace that included a stunning bicycle kick, while Lucas João also found the net during the 3-0 win.

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Reading have won 22 and drawn 16 of a total 48 meetings between the two teams, dating back to the first time we met in March 1969.

Ref watch

David Coote will be the man in the middle on Saturday, for what will be his second Reading game of the season.

Whitestone has already officiated one Royals match this season, having taken charge of proceedings during our 4-2 win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in late October. On that occasion, four players were yellow carded, which included Lucas João and Rafael for the Royals.

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Nick Hopton and Richard Wild will assist Coote at New York Stadium, while Ross Joyce will be the fourth official on this occasion.

During Coote's 19 league games to date, he has issued 67 yellow cards and three additional red cards.

Reminder

A polite reminder to our supporters that no unauthorised access will be permitted to this game, so supporters must not travel to New York Stadium.

We can’t wait to see you all again soon – but for now it’s important that when we play, please stay away.


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