There will be seven new teams to League One ready to begin the 2017/18 season in the third tier once that first whistle is blown in August.
We are profiling each of those seven teams, who will all be coming up against the Bantams this coming campaign. First up, it’s Rotherham United.
The Millers had a season to well and truly forget last time out, and they finished bottom of the Championship by a good distance. Winning only 5 of their 46 league fixtures meant that the South Yorkshire club finished on 23 points with a goal difference of -58, last season is one the club will be looking to put well behind them as they look to plot an immediate return to the second tier.
44 year-old Paul Warne spent nine years with United over two spells as a player and he became the club’s third manager of the season when he was appointed on an interim basis as early as November. The Norwich born former midfielder was given the job on a permanent basis in April after the club had dismissed both Alan Stubbs and Kenny Jackett earlier in the campaign.
In terms of previous meetings, the Bantams have a bit of a bone to pick with the Millers having failed to win any of the last seven encounters. In fact City haven’t scored against Rotherham in the last six meetings and six of the last seven have been victories for the South Yorkshire club with the latest clash a televised goalless draw at the AESSEAL Stadium in April 2014
Retaining the services of last season’s top scorer and Player of Year, Danny Ward could be key to United’s credentials this coming season and Paul Warne has tried to get some business done pretty early in the off-season. Defensive duo Joe Mattock and Richard Wood have signed new contracts, whilst the club have dipped into non-league to sign Michael Ihiekwe from Tranmere Rovers.
The Bookmakers don’t believe United will challenge for promotion this coming season and are ranked at 25/1 to win the Sky Bet League One title with 14 teams deemed more likely to life the trophy come May 2018. The Millers can be backed at 8/1 to be promoted back to the Championship at the first attempt.
Geographically, City’s away-day goers will have been pleased to see Rotherham become one of the 23 places the Bantams will travel to in Sky Bet League One this coming campaign. The Yorkshire derbies tally has doubled over the summer; Sheffield United may have been promoted but along with Rotherham, Doncaster Rovers also get in on the act in 2017/18. Bradford City have never won at Rotherham’s £20 Million home since it’s opening in July 2012 and some 2,500 supporters will be hoping for a first in the months that follow.