League One Playoff Final: Rotherham vs Shrewsbury- Lineups, Preview and Prediction
Rotherham are aiming to return to the Championship at the first time of asking while Shrewsbury aims to reach that level for the first time since 1989.
15:00, Sunday 27th May, Wembley Stadium, Sky Sports Football
Shrewsbury Town have the chance to put the cherry on top of a hugely impressive season by clinching promotion against Rotherham.
The Shrews have been in and around the promotion spots all season but could not keep up with the bigger budgeted Wigan and Blackburn.
However, to get promoted they will need to end a run of four consecutive Wembley final defeats, including this years EFL Trophy final, which stretches back to 1996.
Rotherham enters this weekend’s game hoping to earn promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
The Millers finished eight points behind Shrewsbury in League One.
Both sides have sold around 10,000 tickets though they hope those numbers edge towards 15,000 before kick off.
Last time out
Rotherham 2-0 Scunthorpe
Richard Wood and Will Vaulks scored the all-important goals for Rotherham as they eased to a 2-0 victory and 4-2 aggregate win over Scunthorpe.
The defeat means Scunthorpe had again lost in the playoff semi-final just as they did last season, for Rotherham it gives them a chance of earning promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.
Paul Warne’s side just about edged the game with 19 shots compared to Scunthorpe’s 14. The visitors also had a man sent off with around 15 minutes left to play.
Shrewsbury 1-0 Charlton Athletic
To beat a big side like Charlton in a high-pressure situation proves the mental strength of this Shrewsbury side.
Paul Hurst has been linked with higher level jobs and it is easy to see why as his side have impressed from the off this season.
In this fixture, they weathered a first half Charlton onslaught before Carlton Morris fired them into a 2-0 aggregate lead.
Rotherham have no real injury concerns heading into the game.
Shrewsbury will be without captain Abu Ogogo and left-back Junior Brown, meaning Omar Beckles’ will continue at full back.
Key battle – Stefan Payne vs Michael Smith
Both sides have lacked a true goalscorer this season as they have relied on goals to be shared around the pitch.
Rotherham lost top scorer Kieffer Moore in January which means they will be relying on Smith who has only scored seven goals this season.
Stefan Payne has not fared much better, he has netted 11 goals so far this season.
This weekend’s result may rely on which strikers take their chances making this the key battle to watch.
Can Rotherham make recent form count?
Rotherham have won five of their last seven games while Shrewsbury have won just three of their last seven games. While these are small margins, it could be the difference on the day.
Rotherham have arguably a bit more confidence and will see themselves as the underdogs against a Shrewsbury side who have exceeded expectations all season.
Can Shrewsbury deal with the pressure of being the favourite? It will be interesting to see.
Will Paul Hurst stay at Shrewsbury?
Hurst will have his fair share of suiters this summer the matter what happens in this game, but you have to think he will want to take a crack at keeping Shrewsbury in the Championship if they get promoted.
However, a defeat will almost certainly mean the end for the Shrews boss as he will probably look at pastures new.
Prediction – Rotherham 1-2 Shrewsbury
Rotherham have been in good form recently and on paper, there is little separating the two sides. But Shrewsbury have been superb all season and deserve to be promoted.
Their total of 87 points would usually get you second place and the team were highly unlucky to have missed out on promotion.
That they got past Charlton shows they have enough about them to get past Rotherham. Expect a tight game, but the Shrews should edge it.
Do you think Shrewsbury can hold their nerve to get promoted? Let us know below.