Prior to the exit of Paul Warne, Rotherham United will have been full of optimism around their start to the campaign, after winning another promotion to the Championship last season – their third rise to the second tier in three attempts under the manager.
Hoping to preserve their second-tier status this time around, they began in impressive fashion, going unbeaten and collecting nine points from the first five games before suffering a first defeat away at Sunderland.
That did not derail the Millers, though, as they headed into the international break with another three-game unbeaten streak, firstly drawing 1-1 away at Watford before scoring a resounding 3-0 win over Blackpool thanks to goals from Chiedozie Ogbene, Wes Harding and Georgie Kelly.
They welcome a Wigan Athletic side who pipped them to the League One title last season, and the visitors have also enjoyed a commendable start to the new term with 13 points from their nine games.
Leam Richardson’s side began life back in the second tier with three draws and a win over Birmingham City, before their momentum was briefly halted by a thrashing at the hands of Burnley and a stalemate with West Bromwich Albion in the next two encounters.
They would quickly bounce back after that setback, firstly winning 2-1 away at Luton Town thanks to Thelo Aasgaard’s late goal, before Will Keane and Callum Langgot on the scoresheet in a victory by the same scoreline at Huddersfield Town.
Now most recently on the back of a goalless draw away at Middlesbrough, prior to the international break and Warne’s exit for Derby County, the Millers will hope to continue their positive start to the Championship season with another three-point haul on their return to action on Saturday.
While Warne is no longer leading Rotherham into battle, his established starting XI should remain largely untouched, with Richard Wood, who has acted as a senior leader since the manager’s exit, continuing to command a back three.
Grant Hall will be pushing to come back into the defence after being ineligible to play against parent club Middlesbrough, but Wes Harding and Cameron Humphreys both impressed in that clean sheet and the Millers are more likely to deploy the same unit, with Dan Barlaser, Ben Wiles and Oliver Rathbone all set to keep their places in midfield.
Chiedozie Ogbene has been their main threat up front this season, netting four goals in Championship action thus far, and he should again be joined by Conor Washington although fellow summer arrival Tom Eaves is also vying for a start, as is Georgie Kelly.
Josh qMagennis led the Wigan line in their final outing before the international break, but he will face competition from the likes of Charlie Wyke, Ashley Fletcher and Nathan Broadhead on Saturday.