While Rotherham United are on their pre-season tour of Austria let’s have a quick look at next season’s opponents.
Today it’s the teams beginning with A or B
Founded in 1874 Aston Villa were the originators and founding members of the Football League in 1888 and were also founding members of the Premier League in 1992. Villa are one of just five English clubs to win, what is now, the UEFA Champions League and have won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the League Cup five times and the UEFA Super Cup in 1982.
Rotherham United and Aston Villa have met ten times in the league, Villa winning seven of those to the Millers two. The last time out was in March 2017 at the New York Stadium when an own goal by Will Vaulks and an eighty-seventh minute goal from Jonathan Kodjia gave the visitors all three points.
The Millers and Villa have played three League Cup games, Villa winning the first ever League Cup three-two on aggregate and the last one in 2013 three-nil at Villa Park. The two FA Cup games the teams have played were both Villa wins in the 1950’s.
Last season Villa finished fourth in the Championship getting to the Play-Off Final beating Middlesbrough but found Fulham just a little too strong for them at Wembley.
Albert Adomah was top scorer last season with fifteen goals.
Ground – Villa Park
Nickname – Villa, Villians
Manager – Steve Bruce
Birmingham City came into being in 1875 although they were originally called Small Heath Alliance. Thirteen years later they dropped the ‘Alliance’ from their name before becoming Birmingham City in 1943. Twenty years later they won their first major cup, beating rivals Aston Villa in the League Cup on aggregate, going on to win it again in 2011. 1991 and 1995 saw them win the Football League Trophy.
The Millers and Birmingham have met thirty-two times in the league in the past the last time being a one-all draw at the New York Stadium in April 2017. Kerim Frei put the Blues in front but five minutes from time Danny Ward equalised for the hosts.
The pair have met three times in the FA Cup, the last time being a two-one win for the Blues after a goalless draw at Millmoor.
Going into the last game of last season the Blues still weren’t certain of survival but a three-one win over Fulham, which ended the London sides hopes of automatic promotion, saw them finish in nineteenth place in the Championship.
Last season’s top scorer for City was Che Adams with nine goals
Ground – St Andrew’s
Nickname – Blues
Manager – Garry Monk
Blackburn Rovers were established in 1875 becoming a founding member of the Football League thirteen years later. Rovers were also founder members of the Premier League in 1992. They have won the FA Cup six times and the Football League Cup once.
Blackburn were promoted as runners-up of League One last season, two points behind champions Wigan Athletic.
The Millers and Blackburn have met thirty-six times in the league in the past, the last time being on New Years Day this year at the New York Stadium. The game ended one-one with Bradley Dack opening the scoring for the visitors on sixty-six minutes but a goal in the final minute of the game from David Ball gave Rotherham a point. That was the sixth draw between the sides with Blackburn winning nineteen games to the Millers eleven.
The League Cup has seen four wins for Blackburn and one draw with the only FA Cup game between the teams being a Rovers win at Millmoor in 1958.
Eighteen goals for Bradley Dack saw him Rovers’ top scorer last season.
Ground – Ewood Park
Nickname – Rovers
Manager – Tony Mowbray
1984 saw Christ Church Football Club formed changing their name to Bolton Wanderers three years later. Although they’ve played in every league they are probably best known for their exploits in the FA Cup, winning it four times in seven appearances. In 1958 Bolton won the A Charity Shield and in 1989 they were winners of the Football League Trophy.
A home win against Nottingham Forest on the last day of the season saw Wanderers hang on to a Championship place by the skin of their teeth finishing twenty-first with two more points that relegated Barnsley.
Of the thirty-four league games the Millers and Wanderers have been involved in Rotherham have won fifteen to Bolton’s eight. The pair last met in the Championship in February 2016 at the Macron Stadium when the game was just two minutes old and a Jay Spearing goal gave the hosts the lead. Chris Burke equalised for the Millers just before half-time but in time added on Kaiyne Woolery scored to win the game for Bolton.
There have been four League Cup games between the two which saw two draws and two Millers wins.
With ten goals Gary Madine was top scorer for Bolton last season.
Ground – Macron Stadium
Nickname – The Trotters, The Wanderers
Manager – Phil Parkinson
Founded in 1889 by the local Rowing Club, the Bees had various homes before finally moving to Griffin Park in 1904. In the late 1960’s with money being tight it looked like QPR were in line to take over Brentford but an emergency loan averted that at practically the last minute.
The Bees and Millers have met sixty times in the league in the past the last time being in February 2017, a game which saw six goals at Griffin Park. Jota scored for the hosts on thirteen minutes with Aimen Belaid making it one-one on sixty-seven minutes. Ten minutes later Nico Yennaris put the hosts back in front but three minutes from time Anthony Forde thought he’d equalised for Rotherham. In time added on Semi Ajayi was thought to have handled in the box and Jota scored from the resulting penalty to put the Bees back in front and just before the whistle signalled the end of the game Lewis Price, who was a late replacement for Richard O’Donnell who suffered a warm-up hand injury, twice saved from Sergi Canos but couldn’t do anything to stop Jota getting his hat-trick and making it four-two to Brentford. All in all, of the sixty games, the Millers have won twenty-four to Brentford’s twenty.
The first game the two played against each other was in the FA Cup in 1948 which Brentford won three-nil at Millmoor with the only League Cup game between the two was in 1973, again at Millmoor, which Rotherham won two-nil.
Brentford finished a reasonable ninth in the Championship last season, six points below Derby who were in the last play-off spot.
Neal Maupay finished top scorer for the Bees last season with thirteen goals.
Ground – Griffin Park
Nickname – The Bees
Manager – Dean Smith
Founded in 1894 as Bristol South End they changed their name to Bristol City in 1897 when they were admitted to the Southern League. In 1900 they amalgamated with Bedminster and joined the Football League a year later with their first game being away at Blackpool which they lost. The end of the 1905/6 saw them win the Second Division title and 1909 saw them get to their only Cup Final losing to Derby at Stamford Bridge. The end of the 1910/11 season saw City relegated for the first time. City have won the Football League Trophy three times.
The Millers and Robins have met fifty-six times in all competitions in the past with Rotherham winning twenty-four of those to City’s twenty. The last time the Millers met the Robins was at Ashton Gate in February 2017 when the only goal of the game came on the seventy-third minute from Milan Djuric to give the hosts all three points.
City finished mid-table in eleventh place last season with sixty-seven points.
With twenty-one goals Bobby Reid finished the season as the Robins’ top scorer.
Ground – Ashton Gate
Nickname – The Robins
Manager – Lee Johnson