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Big Match Breakdown: Rotherham v Shrewsbury

Charlie Dear | 27 May 2018

Preview and odds for League One play-off final

It’s winner-takes-all in the League One Play-Off Final today, where either Rotherham United or Shrewsbury Town will reach the Championship promised land.

Rotherham saw off Scunthorpe in their semi-final. After a 2-2 draw away from home, the Millers took control of the tie in the second-leg going through 4-2 on aggregate.

Shrewsbury stand in the way of an immediate return to Championship football for Rotherham.

Paul Hurst’s men shrugged off the challenge of Charlton in the last-four in a 2-0 aggregate win.

It will be The Shrews second Wembley appearance this season after succumbing to a 1-0 defeat to Lincoln City in the Football League trophy.

Head-To-Head

The two managers know each other inside out after being long-term team-mates for the Millers.

They share over 200 games playing together with Hurst in at left back and Rotherham’s current boss Paul Warne as a forward.

These 211 appearances spanned across seven seasons which took in back-to-back promotions and then Championship survival.

Fast-forward to 2017-18 and there was nothing to choose between these two sides. Back in November, Shrewsbury picked up a 2-1 away win with a 93rd minute winner.

Rotherham got their revenge in February as they claimed a 1-0 win at New Meadow.

Likely XIs

Abu Ogogo will still be on the sidelines as he continues to recover from his knee injury for Hurst’s side.

However, the sides face no other injury or suspension worries ahead of the final.

Rotherham may well set up in their 4-1-4-1 formation. The back four protected by sweeper Matt Palmer with the lone-forward going to either Michael Smith or David Ball.

Shrewsbury are primed to play in a traditional 4-4-2 with Jon Nolan playing off Carlton Morris in attack.

Key Battles

Shrewsbury’s Stefan Payne will be looking to add to his 11 league goals this campaign and fire his side to victory.

Since Kieffer Moore’s transfer to Barnsley in January the goals have been shared around the Rotherham team.

Ball, Joe Newell and Will Vaulks have notched a combined 23 goals this season. However, they’ll have to try and beat Dean Henderson, the Shrews ‘keeper who kept 16 clean sheets this season. This is the third most in the league. 

Match Odds

Rotherham begin slight favourites to win in 90 minutes at 13/10, with Salop at 11/5. For both sides to force extra-time is also 11/5.

This season’s results have been won by the odd goal and play-off games are notoriously tight fixtures. The match to feature Under 2.5 goals is 4/6 but Over 2.5 is at 9/1.

Payne to add to his 11 goals this season is 9/5 anytime. Abo Eisa who joined Shrewsbury from Wealdstone in January is 9/2 to go from non-league player to Wembley scorer inside six months.

Rotherham’s Ball is 5/1 to put the Millers ahead on Sunday.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing