Rotherham dip their toe into the murky waters of the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday when Manchester City Under-23s come to the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
It is hardly a mouthwatering prospect, evidenced by the 7pm kick-off, but Paul Warne’s men can at least try and steal a march on one of the qualification spots in their group.
Here’s a full run down of exactly what tomorrow will entail.
What does Paul Warne think of the competition?
The Millers boss is hardly licking his lips at the thought of this game, especially given the already hectic early-season schedule. However, his competitive nature will kick in and he wants to win the game.
He said: “I want to win every game I get involved in. If I stuck my youth team against their youth team, I’d still want to win it. I’ll pick a competitive side and send them out expecting to win.
Who will play for Rotherham?
League One and Two clubs voted in the summer to keep the competition as it is but only if changes were made. There is now more prize money at stake and also there is a relaxation on the amount of first-team players required to play.
Previously there used to have to be a set amount of players that played the previous game starting, which led to triple substitutions after five minutes, but now Warne will only have to pick four outfield players that are registered to play a league game as well as the goalkeeper.
New signing Shaun Cummings will make his debut while Warne has promised game time to others who need it, so the likes of Dominic Ball, Jerry Yates, Richard Wood and Ben Purrington should get a run out.
ICYMI | A reminder that tomorrow night's Checkatrade Trophy fixture with Manchester City is a 7pm kick off. #rufc
— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) August 14, 2017
Warne said: “I’ll be able to give some time to lads who haven’t played much recently. I’d like to think I can include Woody and Shaun Cummings and a few who are on the periphery.
“I want to get them on the grass. Sooner or later, I’m going to need them and I want them to have some proper game-time in their legs.”
Who can we expect from Manchester City?
Meticulous in his preparation, Warne went to scout the Manchester City side on Friday as they opened their Premier League 2 campaign with a 0-0 draw against Chelsea.
Warne reported watching a physical, athletic side, with obvious technique.
He said: “I went to watch them. The manager of that team (Simon Davies) was on my coaching badge in Belfast in the summer.
“He put on a session on how they play. I have a bit of a rapport with him. They’re very, very athletic throughout the team.”
Will we recognise any of their players?
Strikers Lukas Nmecha and Isaac Buckley-Ricketts were involved in England Under-19s’ European Championship win in the summer while there are also a number of top young European players in their squad. Former Rotherham loanees Brandon Barker and Shay Facey, who played during the 2015-16 campaign, are also listed in their squad on Manchester City’s official website.
Rules state that six of City’s starting XI must be 21 or under as of 30 June this year.
Will there be extra time if it’s a draw?
Whoever wins will take three points. If the game is level after 90 minutes then both teams will be awarded a point. There will then be a penalty shootout, using the new ABBA format, with the winner claiming an additional point.