Rotherham United vs Manchester United U23’s: Match Preview

Image from EFL.com
On Tuesday night Rotherham United host, the newest participants Manchester United’s U23’s in the now renamed Leasing.com Trophy, previously known as the Checkertrade Trophy. This is United’s u23’s first competitive game in this competition since declining the opportunity to participate last year, when the format of introducing the U23’s of Premier League teams first began.
United have been handed a very stern test in the group stage of the Leasing.com Trophy, with the group consisting of League One side Doncaster Rovers, who suffered Playoff semi-final defeat last season and are known under the guidance of ex-West Brom manager Darren Moore. Also, Lincoln City who have been on a great run in the last few seasons consisting of 2 promotions in last two seasons and a magical FA Cup run the previous season all under the stewardship of the Cowley brothers, Finally, as previously mentioned the last team being Rotherham United, starting the season back in League One after relegation from the Championship.
The Leasing.com trophy consists of all League One and Two clubs, who are separated into the Northern and southern sections. As stated, they are then drawn into a group of 4 where they play each other just once and the top two go into the quarter-finals, with the final consisting of the winner from the north section and the winner from the south section. The final is in April and will be played at Wembley stadium.

Rotherham comes into this on the back of the opening day of the season in the EFL where Rotherham secured a 2-1 win away at AFC Wimbledon. Goals coming from new signing Freddie Ladapo who cost the Yorkshire side £500,000 and the winner coming from experienced defender Clark Robertson. Paul Warne’s side are one of the favourites to return to the championship at the first time of asking and will also be one of the few names that will be amongst the favourites to win this competition. 
    (TheMillars.co.uk)
It’s been all changed for United’s U23’s this summer, with new manager Neil Wood taking over Ricky Sbragia and ex-player Quinton Fortune being named as his assistant. This is all part of the summer change from playing in academy football to getting first-team opportunities under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nicky Butt. 
It will be interesting to see the players Wood and Fortune have at their disposal on Tuesday night. This is because of this summer’s tour where the academy players such as Gomes, Greenwood, Chong, Garner all played big parts in tour 2019 and left a great impression on Solskjaer, who may want a few involved in his first squad of the season this Sunday against Chelsea. While one familiar face who could be involved is ex-red Matthew Olosunde who made the move to Yorkshire this summer. 
Whoever is available tonight Wood and Fortune will be looking forward to their first game in charge and with the opening game of the Premier League 2 season coming on Friday it’s a very busy week for both men, but one they are ready for. “Once we flew home (from pre-season) we started making some preparations towards Rotherham and West Brom”, he explained. “The games are coming thick and fast, but they’ve had a good pre-season” (ManUtd.com).
Finally, this is a great opportunity for United’s academy to test themselves against fellow EFL teams and while there are many big names involved, e.g. Sunderland, Ipswich, Rotherham, Peterborough, and previous winners Portsmouth, it will be a big statement if Neil Wood and Quinton Fortune could triumph and guide United to become the first academy side to win this trophy.

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