PREVIEW: Villa head to Rotherham

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Just a few seasons ago when Aston Villa was relegated their supporters sung their own lyrics to a Beautiful South classic. Rotterdam (or anywhere) was replaced with Rotherham, mocking what we once were and where we were heading. If you were to ask any Villa supporter I am sure they would tell you it had more to do with Villa than actually belittling Rotherham.

A few seasons have passed and the mood has changed in B6. Villa fans once again feel optimistic and will hope that when they head to Rotherham tonight, then come home with all three points. No disrespect but this is a game many would have Villa heavy favourites. It isn’t that simple though. This is the kind of game where we have fallen short in recent times. Rotherham must be respected.

Dean Smith will hope his side can make it seven wins in a row as they continue to try and cement a playoff position.

Villa currently sits 5th in the Championship with Saturday’s opponents Bristol City, one point behind with a game in hand. Derby are three points adrift in 7th and also have a game in hand over Villa.

THE OPPOSITION

Rotherham were promoted from League 1 last season. Their sole aim this year is Championship survival. Paul Warne’s side currently occupies the final relegation spot, one point behind Millwall and Reading.

The Millers have won just 2 of their last 13 Championship outings but will be full of confidence following their 2-1 over Nottingham Forest last weekend. Their home form has been their strength this season. Of their 39 points this campaign, 29 have come at the New York Stadium. The home form has been that good that they have scored more than double at home than what they have done on the road.

As you would expect with a side towards the bottom of the table, they are strong in the air. Only Birmingham (54.9%) have won more ariel duels than Rotherham (54.4%) this season. The Millers will look to play long balls up top or exploit the opposition at set pieces.

TEAM NEWS

Hause could miss game against RotherhamKortney Hause is expected to be replaced by Axel Tuanzebe. The defender was substituted in the weekend victory over Sheffield Wednesday with a hip injury.

Alan Hutton has returned to training but it is thought tomorrows game will come too early for the Scot. James Chester (knee) and Tommy Elphick (foot) are close to a return also.

Rotherham will check the fitness of Billy Jones and Joe Mattock. Both were substituted in the win over Nottingham Forest with problems.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Predicted XI: Steer; Elmohammady, Tuanzebe, Mings, Taylor; Hourihane, McGinn, Grealish; Adomah, El Ghazi; Abraham.

Kick Off: 19.45
TV: Sky Sports Football (Red Button)
Venue: New York Stadium, Rotherham
Tickets: 2,583 (sold out)
Odds: Rotherham 10/3 Aston Villa 3/4 Draw 29/10 (Skybet)

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