Rotherham United: Matt Derbyshire and Nouha Dicko in battle of the hot-shots

Millers old boy Nouha Dicko
Millers old boy Nouha Dicko

Matt Derbyshire v Nouha Dicko.

There’s much more to this afternoon’s Championship clash between Rotherham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, of course.

But the Molineux showdown pits the Millers striker in such a rich vein of goalscoring form against the man who bagged six in six during a loan spell in South Yorkshire last season.

Derbyshire has four goals in his last five matches for Rotherham, while Dicko has bagged 21 in just 35 league starts for the Black Country giants.

After a 14-match drought, Derbyshire has come good, and Millers manager Steve Evans said: “The commonality of Matt throughout this season is that he’s got into positions to score goals.

“Of course, he wasn’t taking his chances earlier in the season and I think the kid was at a loss to explain why. It just wasn’t happening for him. We’ve had lots of chats with him and the main chat was that we were going to play him anyway because he’s the one player we have who gets into the positions to score.”

The scoring rate of Dicko, who has missed a chunk of the season through injury, has slowed since Wolves’ promotion campaign last year and he has nine goals in 26 matches this term.

But Evans still believes the striker who secured his move to Wolves on the strength of his loan exploints at AESSEAL New York Stadium, is one of the most dangerous attackers in the second tier.

“I’m looking forward to meeting up again. He’s a wonderful talent,” Evans said,

“He was outstanding for us. It will be good to catch up with him, embrace him and give him a hug. He really is such a nice kid, and when he was here he was very humble. The lads loved him.”

Last season at Molineux the pace ace bagged a hat-trick against the Millers in an unforgettable 6-4 win for the home side.

“It was such a wonderful football match. Both sets of supporters were fantastic on the day and it really did create an almost carnival, party atmosphere,” Evans recalled.

“If we can reverse the score from last season and win 6-4, I’ll be delighted. We have to make sure we go there and compete for 90 minutes. Any team that goes there and doesn’t get in the trenches will get turned over.”

Rotherham head into the match boosted by left-back Zeki Fryers extending his loan deal to the end of the season and with right-back Jack Hunt given a 50:50 chance of being fit after being stretchered off in the 3-3 hriller with Derby on Tuesday with a knee problem.

“He’s touch and go,” Evans said yesterday.

Skipper and centre-half Craig Morgan is available after illness, but midfielder Lee Frecklington will miss at least the next two matches because of scar tissue connected to a recent hernia op.

Wolves may include in their line-up new signing from Arsenal Benik Afobe, a young striker who, Evans revealed, the Millers had asked the Gunners about.

The Rotherham boss also said Middlesbrough rejected their bid to take Emmanuel Ledesma on loan again before the Argentine attacking midfielder joined Brighton on a temporary basis.