Big Match Preview: Rotherham v. Imps

Lincoln City will make their second trip to the Don Valley Stadium inside a month when they take on Rotherham in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night.

The Imps went down 2-1 to the Millers on the opening day of the League Two season and will be hoping to exact revenge on Ronnie Moore’s side.


Rotherham's temporary home, the Don Valley Stadium, isn't the typical League Two stadium. Photo: James Thornett

Manager Chris Sutton will field the strongest side available to him, although that decision is mainly influenced by factors outside of his control. His Lincoln squad is suffering from a hefty absentee list, with Drewe Broughton the latest entrant to the Imps’ catalogue of injuries and will definitely be missing the trip to his former home ground.

As well as that, the rules of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy mean Sutton is obliged to select either six of the players with the most league appearances this season or six of the 11 players who started the last league game—the home draw against Crewe on Saturday. The rules were brought in to stop managers from fielding a team full of fringe players and untried youngsters, which resulted in low attendances for matches.

Chris Fagan and Shane Clarke are set to leave Sincil Bank meaning neither will be given the opportunity to put in a farewell performance for the Imps.

As a result, the majority of the starting line-up against the Railwaymen should begin the match. One exception is the Imps’ goal scorer in that game, Albert Jarrett. Jarrett, who has arguably been Lincoln’s most impressive player this season, is away on international duty with Sierra Leone. It is also likely that 36-year-old Ian Pearce will be rested, meaning a recall for Moses Swaibu.

Rotherham are likely to give debuts to defender Johnny Mullins and forward Jeremiah Ani. Mullins signed from Stockport County in the summer but has failed to force his way into the Millers’ starting 11 as yet. Nigerian forward Ani signed a short term deal for the club last week. The 25-year-old striker’s CV includes spells in Nigeria, Malta, Portugal and China and he has been on trial at both Plymouth Argyle and Notts County in the past year.

Veteran striker Paul Warne scored in his first appearance since November for the Millers in their 1-0 win against Hereford at the weekend. He could retain his place as Tom Elliot, who is on loan from Leeds United, is still struggling with injury.

The Linc prediction: Rotherham 1 Imps 0

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