Rotherham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers

5 Aug

Wolves are the 16th side Walter Zenga has managed in 18 years since starting with New England Revolution in 1998


Wolves are the 16th side Zenga has managed in 18 years, starting with New England Revolution in 1998

BBC coverage

How to follow:
BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Sheffield, BBC WM (full game on DAB); live text commentary and report on BBC Sport website

New Wolves boss Walter Zenga takes charge for the first time against a Rotherham United side also under new management in Alan Stubbs.

After the arrival of record signing Jon Taylor, Stubbs has six of their seven purchases set for a debut, except Kelvin Wilson, who is not match fit.

Wolves have made four new signings – Helder Costa, Silvio, Joao Teixeira and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

But they may not all be match fit enough to play at the New York Stadium.

Wolves remain without their four long-term injured players, Michal Zyro, Jordan Graham, Nouha Dicko, who are all recovering from knee operations, and Mike Williamson (hamstring).

Williamson could be closest to a return, while Dicko will miss the first few weeks of the season after having minor surgery to remove a staple from his knee.

Analysis

BBC Radio Sheffield’s Jonathan Buchan:

“Rotherham head into the new season under their fourth boss in the last 12 months following the appointment of Alan Stubbs over the summer.

“Last season’s miraculous survival story was orchestrated by Neil Warnock, but some of the key men in that run, such as Matt Derbyshire have now moved on.

“They are in desperate need of a striker before the transfer window closes but have made key midfield additions, with Celtic’s Scott Allan having come on loan and the club record signing of Peterborough winger Jon Taylor.”

BBC WM’s Mike Taylor:

“After two weeks of what feels like unreality – or perhaps adjusting to a new reality – for Wolves and their supporters, comes a first taste for the newcomers of what they have let themselves in for.

“All you can say with confidence about Wolves so far is that it was plain that they needed additions to the squad, and several have arrived – although there will surely be quite a few more yet.

“But, in a way, this is the start of an experiment. In the early moments of their revolution, the new Wolves owners are turning against much of the received Championship wisdom, about coaches experienced in England and battle-hardened players. We’ll find out eventually if it will work, but Saturday night will be too early to draw any firm conclusions.”

Match facts

  • Since winning the first-ever league meeting between these sides in September 1965, Rotherham have won just once in 19 matches against Wolves, a 1-0 victory in August 2014.
  • Wolves have scored at least twice in nine of their last 14 league meetings with Rotherham, failing to score in the other five.
  • Since being promoted out of the fourth tier in 2013, Rotherham have failed to win each of their last three opening day fixtures.
  • Wolves have taken 13 of a possible 18 points from their last six opening-day fixtures, winning two of those as a Premier League side.
  • The Millers’ final-day 1-0 defeat by Blackburn Rovers in May was their first in eight home league games.

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