Rotherham United vs Southend United preview: Stuttering Millers hoping to reignite League One promotion push
Photo by Jacques Feeney/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rotherham United host troubled Southend United at the New York Stadium on Saturday, as they seek to maintain their position in the League One automatic promotion places. 

The Millers are sitting second in the League One standings, but have failed to win any of their last three games. This sequence has seen them slip five points behind leaders Coventry City

With the race for promotion hotting up in the third tier, Paul Warne's side find themselves just three points clear of eigth-placed Wycombe Wanderers

Southend's relegation is all but sealed, but Sol Campbell's young team continue to battle gamely amidst financial uncertainty. 

Their win over Bristol Rovers last weekend ended a run of six league defeats on the spin, but the Blues are still a mammoth 16 points from safety.

  • Story behind the game

The home side will be hoping to get back to winning-ways following their 3-1 loss at Rochdale last Saturday. 

The Millers have been held in both of their previous home clashes against sides in League One's bottom six. 

Southend will be hoping for a similar outcome when the two sides meet, but will have to end a run of four successive away losses to gain a positive result.

It ended all square when the pair met back in December. After falling behind to an own-goal, the Blues rallied to lead through Jason Demetriou and Sam Mantom.

Their lead only lasted eight minutes though, as Freddie Ladapo struck to rescue a 2-2 draw for the Millers. 

  • Team news 

Defensive stalwart Michael Ihiekwe is set to spend up to six weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury. Joe Mattock is also expected to be absent with a tight hamstring. 

Southend skipper Timothee Dieng remains sidelined along with John WhiteMark Milligan could feature, while frontman Stephen Humphrys could also come into contention.

  • Predicted line-ups

Rotherham United

Iversen, Thompson, Tilt, Wood, Olosunde, Adelekun, Lindsay, Crooks, Ogbene, Smith, Vassell. 

Southend United: 

Gunnarsson, Mitchell-Nelson, Bwomono, Shaughnessy, Clifford, Egbri, Kinali, Demetriu, Gard, McLaughlin, Kelman. 

  • What the managers have said

Millers boss Paul Warne expects Saturday's opponents to play without fear when they travel to South Yorkshire. 

He told the club's official website

"After winning against Bristol Rovers last time out, Southend will have confidence and they have a youthful exuberance. They can come here fearless, and I don't mean this disrespectfully, but when you're at the bottom end of the league and you go away to someone at the top anything is a bonus. 

"Their a decent footballing side so they'll enjoy playing on our pitch, so it will be a tough game. I don't think there are any teams who will just turn up and get their bellies tickled, we have to find ways to break them down."

Shrimpers boss Sol Campbell believes his side are ready for the challenge against the League One high-flyers. 

He told the club's official website

"We’ve had to chop and change. The goal we conceded last week showed a little bit of naivety at the back, but we’ll get better. As long as we learn from them kind of mistakes and go again that’s what it’s all about.

"We take positives but it’s going to be a tough game. The guys are ready to compete and hopefully we take our chances when they arise, and we’ll get something from the game."

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