If the second-leg is anything like the first, then the fans in attendance at New York Stadium will be in for a cracker. Last Saturday, both Rotherham and Scunthorpe gave their all, dug deep, created chances and scored goals. In truth, as both teams threatened throughout the match, a draw was probably the right result. At the halfway point in this tie, it remains a tough one to call.
Having gone behind not once but twice during that first game, Scunthorpe will probably have left the field ever so slightly happier than their opponents, though they will undoubtedly have rued a few missed opportunities. Either side of half-time defender Rory McArdle stole himself some space in the opposition box but could only find the crossbar and then the hands of Rotherham keeper Marek Rodak.
Scunthorpe had gone into that first-leg having been defending exceptionally well, but it was clear from early in the match that Rotherham have the quality to hurt the Iron. Paul Warne’s men adopted their usual forward-thinking approach and were productive in the final third. They were somewhat typically open at the back, though they’ll almost certainly fancy themselves to outscore their opponents on home soil.
Going into Saturday’s match there was a suspicion that both teams would have the quality to trouble each other and that did indeed turn out to be the case. With that game fresh in the memory, it’s something of a surprise that a high-scoring second-leg isn’t more fancied in the betting. At the prices, ‘Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score’ really stands out.
Rotherham are worthy favourites on their own patch, but given that Scunthorpe are no pushovers, as they proved in the first-leg, the hosts may just be a tad short at the current prices. The Millers will continue to get forward, make no mistake about that, and they do have more than enough quality to score goals, though if Saturday’s match proved anything it’s that they’re not overly hard to breach and that they’re susceptible to the break against a good-quality side like Scunthorpe, something that was evident at times during the regular season.
At the end of the day, we’re talking about two teams who’re both very capable in the final third. What’s more, if the first-leg is anything to go by, neither will show any fear at New York Stadium on Wednesday night. As they always do, the hosts will come forward and they have the quality to do some damage, though Scunny, with the pace, power and guile of players such as Ivan Toney, Duante Holmes and Hakeeb Adelakun, are no slouches on the break and will almost definitely get chances in this match.
All in all, at the prices, it’s worth taking the view that this match will follow the pattern of each of the last two renewals of this fixture. ‘Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score’ gets the nod.
Rotherham Predicted Line-up: Rodak, Mattock, Wood, Ihiekwe, Emmanuel, Newell, Vaulks, Towell, Taylor, Ball, Smith
Scunthorpe Predicted Line-up: Watson, Clarke, McArdle, Wallace, Townsend, Yates, Ojo, Morris, Holmes, Adelakun, Toney
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