After their impressive 19th-placed finish in the Championship last time around under the management of Matt Taylor, halting a six-year run of promotions and relegations between England’s second and third tiers, Rotherham United headed into the new term again with the aim of again staying in the division, but it has been a relatively slow start for the South Yorkshire outfit.
The Millers began away at Stoke City and suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat, as Lee Peltier’s goal was not enough to trigger a turnaround after the hosts went three goals up in the first half through Ki-Jana Hoever and an Andre Vidigal brace, before Jacob Brown added a fourth for the Potters in injury time.
Then on the back of a penalty shootout triumph over Morecambe in the EFL Cup first round, Taylor’s men hosted Blackburn Rovers and went 2-0 up through Hakeem Odoffin and Fred Onyedinma, only to see the latter sent off in the 50th minute and Sammie Szmodics net a brace in the final 20 minutes to force a share of the spoils at the New York Stadium.
Left disappointed by that result, albeit having picked up their first point in the process, the Millers then faced the tough test of a trip to Sunderland last weekend, and Odoffin was again on the scoresheet to put them ahead early, only for Jobe Bellingham to instantly level the scores before netting his and the hosts’ second of the game early in the second half to send Rotherham home empty-handed.
Now back on home turf, Taylor’s side will be desperate to put an end to their losing start on Saturday to avoid falling behind at the bottom end of the division in the coming weeks.
They certainly face a tough test, though, as Leicester City make their first ever trip to the New York Stadium with the aim of making it four wins from four league games and five from five outings in all competitions this term.
Following their relegation from the Premier League last season, the Foxes turned to Enzo Maresca to lead their bid for an immediate promotion, and his tenure began with a 2-1 victory away at home to Coventry City, having
come from a goal down in the final 15 minutes thanks to Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s brace, before they made the short trip to Burton Albion in the EFL Cup and progressed with a 2-0 triumph courtesy of goals from Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfried Ndidi.
The Midlands outfit then travelled to take on Huddersfield Town in their second Championship outing, and they would eventually break the Terriers’ resistance to go a goal up through Stephy Mavididi in the 73rd minute and hold on for the 1-0 win, before most recently hosting Cardiff City at the King Power Stadium last Saturday.
Wanya Marcal-Madivadua gave Maresca’s side a first-half lead in that game, but they were then pegged back on the stroke of half time by an eye-catching long-range Aaron Ramsey goal, and after the contest looked set to end level, new signing Cesare Casadei popped up with a 92nd-minute goal to ensure the Foxes took all three points and continued their perfect record.
Now as one of just two sides with such a record after three rounds of Championship games, Leicester will be keen to further establish themselves in the leading pack in England’s second tier in the coming weeks and make it four league wins on the trot on Saturday.