MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) nailed 10 winners from 13 suggested bets this midweek. Will he continue his flying form at the New York Stadium on Friday night?
Rotherham v Burnley | Friday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
Marmite man Steve Evans left Rotherham this midweek, suggesting he and chairman Tony Stewart “wished to head in a different direction”. Although it may have come as a surprise to most, the way in which Evans so blatantly put his hat in the ring for the at-the-time available Peterborough job is sure to have upset the Millers hierarchy.
Still, life goes on and his former first team coach Eric Black has been handed the caretaker reigns for Friday night’s Championship showdown in front of the Sky cameras against Burnley. Rotherham, buoyed by their first back-to-back wins in the second tier since 2003, are certain to have been hit for six by the week’s events.
I’ve always been an Evans fan – I think he’s a much more intelligent manager than he’s given credit for but he’s also great entertainment. We want and need loud, brash, arrogant and, at times, downright ridiculous characters in the game. Imagine a Football League without the likes of Evans, Graham Westley and Phil Brown…
Back to the game, Burnley look a decent punt at 7/5 (BetVictor), to me. The Clarets’ four-match winning streak was ended by a bore-draw with Derby on the box before 10 minutes of defensive madness cost them last time out against the a shrewd Reading side.
But record signing Andre Gray is expected back on Friday night and Joey Barton’s pushing for a first start having impressed from the bench. Away from home Burnley have W1-D2-L1 and scored just three goals but they should have little problem finding a way past a porous home defence.
The visitors have scored in all bar two of their Championship outings since relegation but do boast a strong record when taking on bottom-half dwellers under Shaun Dyche’s leadership. Including their promotion season, Burnley have W8-D3-L1 on the road to the league’s lesser lights and can capitalise on the uncertainty in the home dressing room.
Rotherham haven’t kept consecutive clean sheets since December last year and have also been hit by Vadis Odjidja Ofoe’s return to Norwich this week. The midfielder earned the Man of the Match award in their win over Cardiff whilst a 2-0 success over Birmingham last time out saw the Blues arrive at the New York emotionally drained from their Capital One Cup exit to bitter rivals Aston Villa.
The Millers have only netted four goals in their home fixtures and are already leaking close to two goals-per-game. It’s worth pointing out, the hosts have been beaten in five of their nine league contests already this campaign and since promotion back to the second tier, have W3-D3-L6 when entertaining top-half teams.
Rotherham v Burnley – Burnley to win (7/5 BetVictor)