Relegated Millers visit the Hawthorns

West Bromwich Albion v Rotherham United; The Hawthorns, Wednesday 10th April 2024, 8pm

A nine match unbeaten run is hardly a cause for concern, but recent performances have left Baggies fans a little jittery as we move into the last five games of the campaign. Having come from behind in their two previous games, they lost a two-goal lead at Stoke on Saturday and, for once, the chasing pack took advantage and Albion could well be down to sixth by the time they kick off on Wednesday evening.

It is at least encouraging that Albion have managed to remain unbeaten despite a drop off in performances and, at least, they had built up a buffer to the sides below them. If they had won their last three, they would have actually moved into fourth place and be on the verge of securing a play-off spot already but, as it stands, four wins from their last five would guarantee the Baggies a top six spot, irrespective of other teams’ results. In reality, I would expect eight or nine points to be enough.

Statistically, Albion have the easiest run-in of any side in the top eleven with their opponents’ averaging only 1.22 points per game this season, as can be seen from the run-in anaylsis, and the need for Carlos Corberán’s team to get back to winning ways is boosted by the fact that their next two opponents have only picked up four and five points respectively from their previous ten Championship games.

The caveat to that is, of course, the impact of pressure, particularly when it comes to Wednesday’s game with Rotherham United. The Millers’ home defeat to Plymouth Argyle on Friday evening confirmed their relegation to League One which means that the players are no longer playing with any pressure, their fate has been sealed. We have seen teams respond to that situation with a newly found freedom that sees performances improve, but players can equally down tools and make little effort in the remaining games. It remains to be seen how the Millers will respond, but one would hope that Albion have enough to take all three points anyway given the relative strength of the squads, but the hosts, themselves, will be feeling the pressure to get a victory.

Carlos Corberán tweaked his front four once again at Stoke with Jed Wallace and Grady Diangana returning to the starting line up and both registering a goal involvement. Diangana, who replaced Swift in the number ten position, made it eight assists for the season with his clever pass for Johnston’s opener and, coupled with seven goals, has matched the fifteen goal involvements he registered in his first spectacular season at the Hawthorns when on loan from West Ham United in 2019/20. Visually, he hasn’t been at that level for much of the season but his stats are excellent and his three assists in the last two matches have been key to maintaining Albion’s unbeaten record.

Mikey Johnston is grabbing the headlines, however, and was nominated for Championship Player of the Month for March with four goals and an assist from five matches. Most of his seven goals have been all his own work, but the pass from Grady for his opener at the bet365 Stadium was all important.

The surprising thing from Saturday’s match was that Albion let a lead slip – only four times this season have Albion not gone on to win after scoring the first goal and it has not happened at the Hawthorns. Score first and Albion win has been the story on their own patch, albeit they haven’t claimed victory having conceded first at home. So that is the first objective on Wednesday evening, get that opening goal and the confidence should be there that the Baggies will close it out. Now is not the time to start doubting themselves and, if the skipper’s words in the aftermath of the Stoke game are anything to go by, the team seem determined not to let the disappointment from that result affect them.

With Norwich City, Coventry City and Preston North End all playing on Tuesday evening, the picture could look better or worse for the Baggies at kick off, but they will be firmly focused on getting the three points the fans expect and take that step closer to the play-offs.


Albion have met the Millers only sixteen times and they have won ten of those with the South Yorkshire club having beaten the Baggies on three occasions, and only once at the Hawthorns. That was in February 2004 when Gary Megson’s Premier League-bound team suffered a rare home defeat when Chris Sedgwick scored the only goal of the game.

The more memorable encounter came on Rotherham’s previous visit to the Hawthorns two years previously. On that occasion, the Millers were the only team to take points off Albion in their final eight games of the season, and that was only because Jordão’s “goal” was not awarded despite the ball having clearly crossed the line. The point was enough to keep Rotherham in Division One and relegate Crewe Alexandra in their place, although it didn’t, of course, ultimately cost the Baggies.

Albion’s best win over Rotherham United is 4-0, a result they recorded in their first two encounters. The first, in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup in January 1954 saw Johnny Nicholls (2), Ronnie Allen and Reg Ryan score to continue the Baggies’ run to lifting the trophy four months later. The second was in the League Cup in August 1977 and is famous as being Cyrille Regis’ explosive Albion debut as a 19-year-old – he scored twice with Mick Martin and John Wile scoring the other goals. Regis would make his league debut the following Saturday against Middlesbrough and scored again, and also scored at Newcastle the following week – he would end up with eighteen goals in his debut season.

Stat Attack

Current Form

Albion D W W D D D
Rotherham United L L D L W L

All competitions; most recent game on the right

Last matches

Last meeting

12 Dec 2023 – League Championship
Rotherham United 0
West Bromwich Albion 2 (Diangana, Wallace)

Last meeting at the Hawthorns

17 Dec 2022 – League Championship
West Bromwich Albion 3 (Wallace, Diangana, Thomas-Asante)
Rotherham United 0

Albion’s Record against Rotherham United

  Overall   Home
  P W D L F A   P W D L F A
League 11 6 2 3 21 10   5 2 2 1 8 5
FA Cup 3 2 1 0 7 0   2 2 0 0 7 0
League Cup 2 2 0 0 8 3   2 2 0 0 8 3
Total 16 10 3 3 36 13   9 6 2 1 23 8

Related posts