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Free football preview and betting tips: Rotherham v Scunthorpe

Joe Newell is backed to strike again for Rotherham on Wednesday night
Joe Newell is backed to strike again for Rotherham on Wednesday night

Rotherham and Scunthorpe battle for a place at Wembley where they'll meet Shrewsbury. Tom Carnduff has a 4/1 best bet for the game.


Rotherham v Scunthorpe recommended bets

2pts Joe Newell to score anytime at 4/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


The Sky Bet EFL play-offs continue on Wednesday night as League One takes centre-stage when Rotherham host Scunthorpe in South Yorkshire.

The first-leg was a 2-2 thriller, the highest-scoring tie out of any of the play-off clashes, and you'd expect a few more goals here.

When it comes to goals, whilst David Ball or Michael Smith might be obvious choices given their position on the pitch, I'd be looking toward Joe Newell to strike for the hosts.

The midfielder scored his side's second at Glanford Park on Saturday, and his price of 4/1 to repeat that on Wednesday night looks appealing to me.

He may have been a substitute for that first-leg, but his impact from the bench may convince Paul Warne to start him this time around, which isn't too big of an ask given the fact that he played the full 90 minutes in four of the last five games he featured in the squad.

Newell is also the third top scorer for Rotherham, with eight goals and nine assists in all competitions, highlighting how he has been around the goals at various points this season.


Opta statistics

  • Rotherham are looking to reach the third-tier play-off final for the second time, having knocked out Preston, before beating Leyton Orient in the final in their last play-off campaign in 2014 – they drew the first leg that away from home that season too (1-1).
  • In fact, the Millers have never lost a play-off second leg tie in the Football League (W2 D2), and have only lost one of their nine semi-final encounters overall (W3 D5); their first ever play-off match against Swansea in 1988 (0-1).
  • The Iron have failed to win any of their eight play-off semi-final matches away from home in the Football League (D3 L5), failing to score in three of the last four.
  • However, the last time Scunthorpe drew the first leg of their semi-final play-off encounter at home, they went on to be promoted from the third-tier, knocking out MK Dons before beating Millwall 3-2 at Wembley in 2009.
  • Across each of the three tiers of the Football League, only three of the last 17 teams who drew the first leg of their semi-final at home have gone on to win promotion from their respective division.
  • Rotherham have only lost two of their last 17 matches at home to Scunthorpe in all competitions (W10 D5), scoring 2+ goals on 11 of those occasions.
  • Scunthorpe, however, are unbeaten in their last eight away games in league competition (W3 D5), dating back to the start of February.
  • Joe Newell, who came off the bench to score for Rotherham in the first-leg, has had a hand in 15 league goals this season for the Millers (inc. play-offs); more than any other player currently at the club.

The 25-year-old has enjoyed playing against Scunthorpe this season, finding the net on both occasions. Interestingly, Scunthorpe are amongst the clubs that Newell has scored the most against during his career. They are level with Leeds, Fleetwood and Southend.

History is on the side of Rotherham, and I'd be backing them for another appearance at Wembley in just under two weeks' time.

Scunthorpe may have won their final two away games of the season, but Rotherham's record of eight wins in their last ten home games should be enough to see them through here.

The Iron recently went on a run of seeing four of five away games having four or more goals, and based on what we saw in the first-leg, it might be worth backing goals too.

Combining a Rotherham victory with over 2.5 goals can be found as big as 14/5, which is decent enough value given the circumstances.

Score prediction: Rotherham 2-1 Scunthorpe (Sky Bet odds: 17/2)

Best bet: Joe Newell to score anytime at 4/1

Alternative bet: Rotherham to win and over 2.5 goals in the match at 14/5


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Posted at 1845 BST on 15/05/18

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