Paul Warne’s side currently sit in 19th after three draws and a win from their opening seven fixtures, leaving them with a two-point gap between themselves and the bottom three. It is vital they turn this form around to shake off their ‘yo-yo club’ connotation and avoid an immediate return to League One.
The Owls will also be hoping to avoid their first relegation since 2010 after being handed a 12-point deduction at the beginning of the campaign. Wednesday have managed to thin their deficit to just four points off a positive figure.
History is on the Owls’ side, having not lost to Rotherham in their last five outings, winning three and drawing two.
The Millers are still without Chiedozie Ogbene, who has missed the last four games with a knee injury. Angus MacDonald will serve the final game of his three-match suspension after his rash challenge on Oliver Skipp against Norwich City.
Chey Dunkley and Massimo Luongo remain injured for the Owls and are ruled out for this South Yorkshire Derby, however, Dominic Iorfa, Tom Lees and Izzy Brown all could be back in contention after returning to training this week. Osaze Urhoghide continued his return from a knee injury by playing for the Under-23s against Ipswich Town on Tuesday afternoon. Joost van Aken is suspended for this fixture after his dismissal against Luton on Saturday.
Rotherham United (4-3-3): Blackman; Harding, Ihiekwe, Wood, Mattock; Jozefzoon, S. MacDonald, Barlaser; Wiles, Smith, Sadlier.
Sheffield Wednesday (3-5-2): Dawson; Iorfa, Flint, Borner; Palmer, Brown, Pelupessy, Bannan; Windass, Paterson.
After an opening day victory over Wycombe Wanderers, the Millers are winless in six games after three draws – all 1-1 draws with Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town and Nottingham Forest – and three losses against Millwall, Norwich, and Reading. This places Rotherham in 19th and only two points above the relegation places.
Sheffield Wednesday began the brightly, shaving four points of their negative 12-point tally with a 2-0 victory over Cardiff City before a goalless draw against Watford at Hillsborough. However, their form since then has been poor, picking up four points from a possible 15.
Ones to watch
Rotherham United – George Hirst
The loanee made two Premier League appearances last season, coming off the bench on both occasions where he took an average of 1.5 shots per game. This season, Hirst has shown his importance in a front three, winning 1.5 of his aerial battles, however, his game is more about being a poacher in the area.
Hirst left the Owls on bad terms, so a goal against Wednesday could spark a bit of redemption for the forward, as well as the confidence needed to show his potential.
Sheffield Wednesday – Dominic Iorfa
Iorfa is currently a maybe as to whether he will start this game, with reports coming from the Sheffield Star stating that he is in contention for a spot in Wednesday’s back three, which could prove to be vital.
Wednesday have missed Iorfa’s presence at the back, with the centre-half making an average of one tackle per game and with Iorfa intercepting the ball on an average three occasions before striding out of the backline to prompt an attack.
His return could see a partnership begin to blossom between Iorfa and deadline day signing Aden Flirt which could be a big positive in the Owls’ bid for survival.
Last time they met
There have been many great clashes between these two sides over the years, with many examples of late drama coming at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The last time these two sides met was in the second round of the League Cup last season where Atdhe Nuhiu smashed home the only goal of the game in the sixth minute of stoppage time to send the Wednesday fans into raptures.
Again, it was late drama in the last clash between United and Wednesday in the 2018/19 season where they played out a 2-2 draw.
Fernando Forestieri opened the scoring after 35 minutes, but Rotherham equalised from kick-off through Jon Taylor’s rifled strike.
Ritchie Towell them put Rotherham ahead with 16 minutes to go, however, Iorfa marked his debut for the Owls with an equaliser in the 10th minute of injury time to steal a point off the Millers.
What the managers have said
Manager Warne has admitted that he is wary of the threat that the Owls pose.
“I think they’ve done well,” said Warne, speaking in his pre-match press conference.
“They needed to start well, and they have; they play a number of different systems and have made some good singings. They’ve got some good players like they always have and some real experience in the Championship, their away form has been really good and it’s been their strength in the season so far.
“Every manager that comes into a club wants to put their own stamp on it and this is something I feel Garry Monk has done. He’s got the group that he wants, and I think he’ll be very pleased with that, along with the performances they’ve put in.
“It would be nice if we had a full-house helping the team in a big game, but sadly it isn’t to be. Playing Sheffield Wednesday at home is always great when we have a full house, it’s disappointing but hopefully we can put a performance that makes the fans proud to support the club.
“The lads we have here leave everything on the grass and I don’t think that will be any different for a derby game. The Joe Mattocks and Richard Woods of this world have played in many of these games and they know the enormity of it.”
Garry Monk has called for his side to put their previous poor results behind them.
Monk told the official Sheffield Wednesday website: “We will have setbacks, but we haven't got time to dwell on it”
“We have to be much better and hopefully some margins will start to go for us.
“We had a disappointed changing room and quite rightly so, but we don't have time to dwell.
“We know what is at stake for us and we are running our own race. It's a race that we constantly want to be doing well at throughout, but we are going to have to take some blows along the way.”
Where to watch
The only way to view this clash live on Wednesday 28 October is by purchasing an 'iFollow' match pass on either of the club’s website or by watching on Sky Sports Football Red Button.