Both Rotherham and Nottingham Forest are embroiled in the Championship's relegation battle. Mark O'Haire previews their meeting from the New York Stadium.
"The Reds’ most positive performances have come when taking on sides outside the upper echelon of the division, posting W9-D5-L3 against teams outside the top-10"
Rotherham v Nottingham Forest
Tuesday February 23, 19:45
Rotherham outclassed by league leaders
Rotherham are two points from Championship safety after suffering their third successive league loss on Saturday afternoon. The Millers were beaten 1-0 at table-toppers Norwich in an enjoyable Carrow Road encounter with the damage done during a first-half in which the Canaries produced a sublime and irresistible performance at times.
Lewis Wing struck the post direct from a corner and Clark Robertson had a goal disallowed as the visitors threatened before falling behind, though Norwich sliced Paul Warne's men open on numerous occasions and deservedly broke the deadlock. However, Rotherham were much better after the break and made the leaders sweat as they pushed for a leveller.
Ben Wiles smashed a second-half volley against the bar and Ben Crooks' strike was kept out by a last-ditch Max Aarons block, leaving Warne pleased with his players' efforts.
Warne said: "I think the best team won - I think they were better than us, they're the best team in the league by quite a distance in my opinion. Second half we asked them to play with a bit more belief and I think we did - all in all I'm pleased with the performance levels but just disappointed with the result."
Forest continue resurgence under Hughton
Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton hailed goalkeeper Brice Samba's penalty heroics against Blackburn as the Tricky Trees moved further away from the Championship relegation zone. The Reds secured a 1-0 win at the City Ground, courtesy of Alex Mighten's 26th-minute strike, which has left Forest seven points clear of the bottom three.
Despite creating the better chances throughout the contest, the hosts were indebted to Samba for a terrific save to deny Adam Armstrong's spot-kick in the second half, after the goalkeeper had clipped Ryan Nyambe. And Reds' boss Hughton was effusive in his praise of Samba's reflexes as his side bounced back from their late defeat to Swansea in midweek.
Hughton said: "It was hard-fought. We were on on the back of, for me, our best performance of the season at Swansea on Wednesday. Probably on the balance of play I can't say it was a game we deserved to win, but on chances we certainly did. You have to look at the positives - and they are a clean-sheet against a very good footballing side."
Rotherham and Nottingham Forest have been regular foes across the EFL this century with the Millers posting a solitary success in 21 league meetings against the Tricky Trees. However, the two teams have played out a high proportion of draws during that sample with 12 of those 21 dates ending all-square, including eight of the past nine in Rotherham.
Rotherham 2.8615/8 have remained competitive in 2020/21. Despite losing over half of their 29 fixtures, Paul Warne's underdogs have only been beaten by a two goals or more on five occasions. The Millers have found the going tough when taking on the league's elite but have produced a respectable W7-D3-L3 return when facing fellow bottom-half sides.
Nottingham Forest 2.6613/8 have endured only two losses in 13 Championship games since mid-December (W6-D5-L2) as Chris Hughton guides the Tricky Trees to safer waters. Like their hosts, the Reds' most positive performances have come when taking on sides outside the upper echelon of the division, posting W9-D5-L3 against teams outside the top-10.
Only seven of Nottm Forest's 27 Championship contests under Chris Hughton have eclipsed the Over 2.5 Goals barrier 2.1411/10, and the Reds have seen each of their past three outings feature a maximum of just one goal. The Tricky Trees have silenced seven opponents during their 13-game upturn in form, suggesting goals could be hard to come by here.
Rotherham's fixtures have been much more erratic on the goals front yet Hughton's organised and resolute approach is likely to supersede proceedings on Tuesday night and so supporting Forest in the Double Chance market alongside and Under 3.5 Goals at 1.814/5 via the Same Game Multi appears an attractive option.
This selection has paid out in 17 (63%) of the Reds' 27 tussles since Hughton took charge.
Mark's 2020/21 Profit/Loss
Staked: 106.00 pts
Returned: 112.32 pts