Newcastle United vs Rotherham United Preview: Magpies look to regain top spot

Newcastle United vs Rotherham United Preview: Magpies look to regain top spot

After Brighton and Hove Albion's win on Friday night, Newcastle need  a win to go back to the top of the Championship.

Aaron Stokes

Newcastle United will look for their third win on the spin and hope to regain top spot in the Championship when they take on Rotherham United this weekend.

Rafa Benitez's men brought the winning feeling back to St. James' Park when they beat Birmingham City in the FA Cup earlier in the week

Team news

Both sides have injury worries heading into the clash, with Rotherham missing the likes of Dexter Blackstock, Kirk Broadfoot and Danny Ward. 

The Magpies are without their first choice strikers Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic, as they are still on the treatment table. However, the latter has returned to training this week, which will please the Geordie faithful. 

A positive for the home side is the inclusion of Jonjo Shelvey, who made his return to the starting line up on Wednesday, for the first time since receiving his five-match ban for racially abusive language. 

Richard O'Donnell may make his debut for the Millers, after completing his move from Bristol City earlier this week. 

Recent form

On paper this should be an easy tie for the home side. Despite a mini slip, Newcastle remain firmly in the hunt for the Championship title. Whereas Rotherham find themselves embroiled in a major relegation battle.

They currently lie bottom of the league, nine points from safety, with their third different manager since the start of the campaign. Paul Warne's men have lost four of their last six games but did claim a scalp last week, in the form of a 2-1 victory against Norwich City.

Newcastle's league win last week ended a so called 'mini-crisis' on Tyneside. 

History of the tie

The two sides have met 16 times in their history, with Rotherham only winning two of the meetings. 

However, before the October meeting between the pair, they had not met since 1963. Newcastle are unbeaten in the last 11 clashes.

Christian Atsu scored the only goal of the game when the two sides played at the New York Stadium in 2016.