Rotherham United are currently in Austria – the friendly yesterday ending goalless – but let’s have a quick look at some of the teams we will be facing in the Championship next season
Founded in 1902 Norwich went into voluntary liquidation during the First World War reforming in February 1919 and joined the Third Division of the Football League a year later. In the 1933/4 season the Canaries were promoted to the Second Division and moved to Carrow Road in August 1935. Relegated at the end of the 1938/9 season and then the suspension of league football due to the Second World War plus a year of poor results saw City having to seek re-election to the league. 1959/60 saw Norwich promoted back up to the Second Division with the 70’s seeing them yo-yo-ing between the First and Second Divisions. At the end of the 1984/5 season the Canaries became the first English team to win a major trophy (they beat Sunderland in the final of the League Cup) and then get relegated. Norwich did get back to the top tier of English football with their highest position in the Premier League with their highest position being third in the 1992/3 season.
The Millers and Canaries have played each other thirty-four times in the past, in all competitions, with Norwich winning fourteen to the Millers eleven. The pair last met at the New York Stadium in January 2017 when Jerry Yates opened the scoring , on his league debut, for the hosts on seven minutes. Eleven minutes later Norwich were reduced to ten men afterNelson Oliveira had pulled Kirk Broadfoot to the floor then whilst still down struck him in the face. In the second half Cameron Jerome got a Canaries equaliser but just a few minutes later but Tom Adeyemi nodded in against his former club to give Rotherham all three points.
Norwich finished the season in mid-table of the Championship last season on sixty points.
The Canaries top scorer last season with fifteen goals was James Maddison.
Ground – Carrow Road
Nickname – The Canaries
Manager – Daniel Farke
Nottingham Forest were founded in 1865 and were founder members of the Football Alliance joining the Football League in 1892 moving to their current ground, City Ground, six years later. Undoubtedly their most successful period was when Brian Clough was in charge when they won the league and back-to-back European Cups as well as four League Cups and two Full Members Cups (which was held between 1985 and 1992 in various guises). Forest have been out of top flight football since 1999.
Of the forty-two games that the Millers and Forest have been involved in, Forest have won twenty-four to the Millers seven. Last time the teams met was on 31 January 2017 at the City Ground with the hosts taking a fiftieth minute lead from the penalty spot with a Britt Assombalonga goal. Twenty-one minutes later Assombalonga scored his and Forest’s second to give them all three points.
Forest finished seventeenth in the Championship last season.
Kieran Dowell’s ten goals saw him end as Forest’s top scorer.
Ground – City Ground
Nickname – Forest, The Reds
Manager – Aitor Karanka
Preston North End
Originally founded as a cricket club in 1863, Preston were a founding member of the Football League and were the first League Champions in 1889. In the same year the team also won the FA Cup so were the first club to win the ‘double’ and winning both became known as ‘The Invincibles’. They also won the league the following year but their last major trophy was an FA Cup Final win in 1938.
Of the fifty-six games the Millers and the Lilywhites have played against each other Rotherham have won nineteen to Preston’s sixteen. April 2017 in the Championship was the last time the pair met with Richie Smallwood putting the Millers ahead at Deepdale on nine minutes. But four minutes before half-time Stevie May equalised for the hosts.
Preston finished two points outside the play-off spots in the Championship last season in seventh spot.
Jordan Hugill was top scorer for Preston last season with ten goals.
Ground – Deepdale
Nickname – The Lilywhites
Manager – Alex Neil
Queens Park Rangers
QPR were founded in 1882 becoming a professional team seven years later. Their first promotion was in the 1947/8 season as Champions of the Division Three South spending four years in Divison Two before being relegated at the end of the 1952 season. March 1967 saw them become the first Third Division club to win the League Cup a season that also saw them promoted. The following season saw Rangers promoted to the top division but after just one season saw them back in Division Two. After being promoted as runners-up QPR started the 1974/5 season back in the top flight and the following season saw them end up in second place in Division One, one point behind Liverpool. In the 1976/7 season QPR had their first foray into Europe and reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup losing to AEK Athens, two years later they found themselves back in the Second Division. 1982 saw them reach the FA Cup Final losing to Spurs in a replay and the season after saw them back in the top flight. Two years later QPR were back in the UEFA Cup losing out on away goals to FK Partizan in the second round. At the end of the 1995/6 season QPR were relegated from the Premier League to Division One with them being relegated to League Two in 2001. The end of the 2003/4 season saw them go back up to League One as runners-up. Financial problems plagued the club and they had numerous managers in a few years but eventually the club were back on a high and gained promotion to the Premier League in April 2011 and escaped relegation on the last day of the season. With three games still to go the following season Rangers found themselves relegated to the Championship but returned at the end of the 2013/14 season via the play-off’s.
Rotherham and QPR last met in the Championship in March 2017. Matt Smith smashed the ball into the net on just five minutes with Joe Newell’s twenty-five yard strike gave the Millers an equaliser. On the quarter-of-an-hour slot Rangers took the lead again this time from Luke Freeman. Four minutes into the second half a foul on Smith by Aymen Belaid in the area saw the hosts go back in front from a Yeni Ngbakoto spot-kick before Massimo Luongo first goal for the club put QPR four-one in front. Nedum Onuoha made it five-one in the last minute of the game.
Rangers finished sixteenth in the Championship last season with fifty-six points.
With eleven goals Matt Smith was The Hoops top scorer last season.
Ground – Loftus Road
Nickname – The Hoops, The R’s
Manager – Steve McClaren
Formed on Christmas Day 1871 Reading became a professional team twenty-four years later being elected to the Football League in 1920 in the Third Division South. Although they had a couple of near misses the Royals didn’t really pull up any trees until John Madejski took over the club in 1991 and three years later were top of the new Division Two and the next season were runners-up in Division One, only denied promotion because, at that time, only the top team went up. In 1995 they looked to be going up again but lost to Bolton Wanderers in the Play-Off Final. Going back down the leagues Reading once again got to the 2004 play-offs but lost in the semi-final before finally winning the Championship in 2005/6 with a whopping one hundred and six points, recording just two losses on the way. That first season in the Premier League saw Reading finish a very respectable eighth but the following season they were relegated back to the Championship where they finished fourth but lost in the semi-final of the play-offs. In the 2010/11 season they once again found themselves in the play-off final losing to Swansea City but the following season saw them get promoted to the Premier League again but saw them come straight back down again.
The Millers and the Royals have met forty-five times in all competitions in the past, the last time being at the Madjeski Stadium in April 2017. Rotherham went in winning at half-time with a nineteen minutes goal from Tom Adeyemi. But second half goals from former Rotherham players Lewis Grabban and John Swift gave the hosts all three points.
Last season Reading finished in twentieth place just three points above Barnsley who were relegated.
Ten goals from Modou Barrow saw him the Royals top scorer last season.
Ground – Madjeski Stadium
Nickname – The Royals
Manager – Paul Clement