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Tonight, two games being played just over seven miles from each other could confirm the destiny of the Football League’s Championship trophy as we take on Rotherham United at their New York Stadium as Sheffield United host Bristol City.

It’s the same scenario as Saturday; should the Blades fail to win and we do so then we will be crowned champions with the famous trophy known as ‘The Lady’ destined once more for Turf Moor. It will happen at some point, if not tomorrow then hopefully by Saturday so we can then play our next game as champions.

It’s a different scenario for Rotherham who are hoping to beat the drop and avoid the yo-yo tag they’ve picked up in recent seasons. Seven seasons ago, as we were heading towards the title, Rotherham looked certainties to go down, but in came Neil Warnock to spark an incredible recovery.

They stayed up, but in every season since they’ve switched between the Championship and League One; down in 2017, 2019 and 2021, back up in 2018, 2020 and 2022. Right now, with five games to play, they are three points clear of Reading who occupy 22nd place but they have a game in hand and there are three other teams between them which should leave them with confidence that they will stay up.

They’ve had a decent run of form since losing at Millwall on New Year’s Day and have been beaten just five times although they have won just once in their last six games, that a 3-1 home win against West Brom.

Like Reading, they are a side who perform better at home than away. Based on away results, they would be in the bottom three but home results, and they have won eight times there, would see them comfortably in mid-table.

Chiedoze Ogbene (pictured below), who came on as a substitute at Burnley, is their leading goalscorer with seven, ahead of Conor Washington who has scored five times. They are one of just two teams, Blackpool being the other, who have scored two or more against us at Turf Moor this season.

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Their manager Matt Taylor, who replaced Paul Warne in October following his move to Derby, spoke about their injuries ahead of this game. He first reported that Shane Ferguson is back in contention and he could be joined by Tom Eaves, another player returning from injury.

Ben Wiles, who scored their first at Burnley, and a player we reportedly made offers for last summer, also has a chance of playing but Tyler Blackett won’t play having suffered a hamstring injury in their game against Norwich on Easter Monday which he aggravated at the weekend. Goalkeeper Viktor Johansson remains out with Josh Vickers to deputise.

They were beaten 2-0 at home by Luton last Saturday when they lined up: Josh Vickers, Lee Peltier, Cameron Humphreys, Tyler Blackett, Wes Harding, Jamie Lindsay, Conor Coventry, Tariqe Fosu-Henry, Leo Hjelde, Chiedoze Ogbene, Jordan Hugill. Subs: Robbie Hemfrey, Cohen Bramall, Richard Wood, Georgie Kelly, Oliver Rathbone, Hakeem Odoffin, Domingos Quina.

A point at Reading from last Saturday’s 0-0 draw has taken us to 91 points with five games to play. We now need a maximum of four further points to win the league, minus any that Sheffield United might drop. A win at Rotherham will take us to 94, meaning Sheffield United would not be able to drop a single point from their remaining five games just to catch us.

Saturday wasn’t a brilliant watch but Vincent Kompany had said that he would be giving opportunities to players who haven’t featured too much and we saw that at Reading, particularly with Scott Twine and Darko Churlinov along with recent signing Lyle Foster and goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell who had started just two previous league games.

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Connor Roberts, who has become a fixture in the team now, starting all of the last nineteen league games since returning from the World Cup, said: “We were slightly disappointed to not get the win on the weekend at Reading to be honest, but we have the chance to get back to winning ways. It’s another tough game at Rotherham, but hopefully we can perform well like we have over the course of the season and get the win.”

He added: “I think we know what to expect, they will be resilient and they will be doing all they can to keep us out from scoring. Every game in the Championship is tough and we all know that. Rotherham still have something to play for so we know it will be difficult.”

We are again likely to be without Josh Brownhill and Jay Rodriguez with Nathan Tella, forced off early at Reading, expected to be added to those players unavailable. Manuel Benson also came off close to the end, leaving us with ten players on the pitch, and he too could be ruled out.

We can expect another game with the manager making full use of his squad and as a reminder, the team at Reading was: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Connor Roberts, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Jordan Beyer, Charlie Taylor, Josh Cullen, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Manuel Benson, Scott Twine, Nathan Tella, Lyle Foster. Subs: Arijanet Muric, Vitinho, Jack Cork, Darko Churlinov, Anass Zaroury, Ashley Barnes.




We’ve only once previously played at Rotherham’s New York Stadium and that came at the beginning of October 2015 with us sat in sixth place in the table having suffered the first of two home defeats that season.

Both games against Rotherham that season, just as they’ve done this season, have followed games against Reading and it was reading who had beaten us before this Friday night trip to Rotherham in front of the Sky cameras. We won the game 2-1 to move into third place.

We scored nine minutes in and nine minutes from the end to win the game with strike duo Andre Gray and Sam Vokes netting the goals.

Gray gave us the lead with just his second Burnley goal and it was the sort of goal we were to become accustomed to with his pace and movement getting him into the box to beat Lee Camp in the Rotherham goal.

This was also the day that a certain Joseph Barton was given his first Burnley start. He was one of two changes with Rouwen Hennings ruled out as Frau Hennings had given birth.

It looked as though Barton might not start with a win when Rotherham equalised with a quarter of an hour remaining. Maybe no one closed down scorer Grant Ward but there was nothing anyone could have done when he launched a howitzer into the top corner of the net.

We should have been in front and were again six minutes later. Camp saved from Scott Arfield after he’d been played in by a David Jones RIGHT foot pass, but Vokes was first to the ball to score from close range.

There was no second comeback from Rotherham and the points were ours.

The teams were;

Rotherham: Lee Camp, Lewis Buxton, Farrend Rawson (Kirk Broadfoot 77), Danny Collins, Joe Mattock, Richard Smallwood, Grant Ward, Joe Newell (Danny Ward 71), Tony Andreu (Chris Maguire 71), Matt Derbyshire, Jonson Clarke-Harris. Subs not used: Adam Collin, Frazer Richardson, Aidan White, Emmanuel Ledesma.

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Tendayi Darikwa, Michael Duff, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, George Boyd (Matt Taylor 76), Joey Barton, David Jones, Scott Arfield, Sam Vokes, Andre Gray (Chris Long 88). Subs not used: Matt Gilks, Matt Lowton, Stephen Ward, Fredrik Ulvestad, Michael Kightly.

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