Saturday’s topsy turvy encounter managed to leave Fulham fans simultaneously distraught and ecstatic, but Fulham need to pick up the pace if they are to keep up with the pack now chasing the promotion spots. Tonight’s game against Rotherham would appear to be the perfect set-up to restore the Whites to winning ways, but it won’t be as straightforward as many would think.
The record books show that this is a fixture which has favoured Fulham over the past two seasons, with two wins and two draws against the Millers since our demotion from the top flight in 2014. A 4-1 victory at the Cottage last season was watched by Slavisa just before he took the reigns, in a game that saw Cauley Woodrow grab a brace, alongside goals from now former players McCormack and Kacaniklic.
Rotherham’s form was dismal going into last weekend, with a run of 12 straight defeats, and a solitary win coming back in August against Brentford. Kenny Jackett, former Wolves boss, had only been in charge for 5 games when he stepped down from the role at the end of November. However, the appointment of the popular Paul Warne, after a rocky start, finally bore fruit when the Millers beat Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, halting the slide.
It was commented on more than once how much the players wanted to win for their caretaker manager, meaning that the Whites will need to be wary and careful when they run out tonight, and not take anything for granted. The Millers defended heroically against our West London rivals, and Fulham will need to either break Rotherham down quickly, or remain patient and stick to their game plan if their opponents prove harder to break open.
Somewhat ominously, Rotherham’s only two victories have been against our West London rivals, so Fulham will have to make sure that it won’t be a third time lucky for the Millers tonight in any sense this evening. Whites players and fans alike would do well to keep an eye on Izzy Brown, the Chelsea loanee who scored Rotherham’s winner on Saturday, as he’s a livewire who knows how to trouble opposition defences.
Their last 5 results:
- L: Rotherham 1-3 Preston North End
- L: Derby 3-0 Rotherham
- L: Rotherham 1-2 Leeds United
- L: Burton Albion 2-1 Rotherham
- W: Rotherham 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
Fulhamish’s Starting Line-Up:
For us, Tim Ream needs to go after Saturday’s capitulation, and as we’ve been calling for weeks, we’d love to see Michael Madl return to the heart of the defence alongside Kalas, and let him prove to Slavisa that he’s ready to make amends for his red card earlier this term.
Chris Martin v Lewis Price
Lewis Price was instrumental for the Millers in last week’s victory over QPR, whilst Martin didn’t have his best game in a Fulham shirt in the draw at Molineux. As the Whites’ top scorer though, he needs to lead the line well and get Fulham on the front foot early tonight, and another brace for the on-loan striker would certainly swing things in Fulham’s favour.
There are no easy games, but this is as easy as they come. Home against the bottom side in the Championship, with an inexperienced manager and with a host of injuries and suspensions – Fulham simply need to win tonight. We think the Whites will have too much for Rotherham, and are going for a 3-0 home win.
Don’t forget to listen to next Monday’s episode of Fulhamish for all the reaction to this game and Saturday’s against Derby County. Subscribe to the podcast on any of the following platforms (others are available):