MATCH PREVIEW: Millwall V Blues

1

Millwall vs Birmingham City
2017/18 EFL Championship
Date: Saturday, 21st October 2017
Kick Off: 17:30 UK / 18:30 CET
Venue: The New Den (Millwall)

Blues lost 1-0 at Home in their last encounter with The Lions
Blues lost 1-0 at Home in their last encounter with Millwall

A fully rejuvenated Steve Cotterill side are raring to go at The Den this evening, as they look to make it two wins on the trot following the Home win against the Bluebirds under the floodlights on Friday evening last week.

The Sky Sports cameras broadcast our Home win over Neil Warnock’s boys, as we held off the visitors and prevented them from registering even a shot on target against the big man Tomasz Kuszczak in between the sticks. The Polish shot-stopper was on his toes at some points, but it was more of a case for him to sit back and enjoy the show on the night, as Che Adams scored on his return back in the Blues team, after he was ruled out by unfortunately picked up a hamstring injury earlier in the season.

Che Adams celebrates his goal after returning from his hamstring injury
Che Adams celebrates his goal after returning from his hamstring injury

And now as we look forward to the clash at The Den, we must be prepared for what could be hiding around the corner, as a feisty Millwall bunch will attempt to grasp the win with 2 hands, but with practically a fully fit group of lads, another 3 points may be on the cards for us, but it will be anything but easy considering the opposition…

Millwall, who gained promotion back to the Championship in the League One Play-Off Final last season, have had a somewhat “decent” return to the second tier so far, as they are currently content on 13 league points. However, given the situation, if Blues come out on top in the fixture, we will see ourselves move above Neil Harris’ boys, and hope to see our season take a much needed turn for the better.

Since Redknapp departed with the club, we have been a much more appealing side, especially in front of goal. We have added 2 wins and a draw to our tally since the 70-year-old was sacked as manager, with just one loss creeping into place following the vile defeat against Preston at St. Andrew’s, but since then, we’ve manged to find the back of the net in every match since the loss on the 16th September. Let’s hope that the striker’s can remain in tip-top form today…

But, surely it’s not hard to realise how much of a cauldron The Den can feel at times, but it’s even easier to notice just how brilliant the Blues fans are. In every game this season, throughout the good times and the bad, the Bluenoses have made an amazing effort to lift the team spirit in the campaign, and now we will need to make the most noise we’ve made all season, to cancel out the somewhat screeching from the Home seats.

Blues V Millwall has never been the most pleasant of fixtures in some cases, with commotion from outside the ground ruining the event for the fans that just want to watch their team do well. But today we must do the talking out on the pitch, to give us some justice at last and submit our first away win of the season. But George Saville will be the main threat from the Home side, as he will no doubt be hungry to add to his 4 goals since the beginning of the new footballing year.

The game won’t be one to miss, and if you are not going to the ground in the flesh, you can watch the clash live on Sky Sports.

Team News:

BLUES – Carl Jenkinson and David Stockdale both remain sidelined.

MILLWALL – Byron Webster is out with a knee injury. Steve Morison could make a return after picking up a stomach injury.

League Form:

BLUES: LDWLW

MILLWALL: WDWLL

Previous Encounter:

Blues 0-1 Millwall (10th Feb 2015)

Played For Both – Shane Ferguson:

pm2839975soccer-palace-06

Millwall’s number 11, Shane Ferguson, endured a lengthy loan spell at St. Andrew’s, spending 18 months of his career with us. During this period, Ferguson made 29 appearances in a Blues shirt, with his only goal coming from outside the box in a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace back on 29th March 2013. However, the 26-year-old has signed a full contract with the Lions, and 67 apps and 4 goals to his name since joining the side in 2015.

Predicted Lineup:

20171020_184440

With almost every option available to fit straight into the team, Blues look likely to approach this evenings match in a 4-3-3 formation. Grounds and Roberts look prop to remain in the team after their performances against Cardiff. Jota looks to make his mark in the Starting 11, and he looks set to be playing along side Che Adams and Isaac Vassell up top. With so many midfield options, Cotts appears as he could leave it the same as last game in the centre of the park, with David Davis as an option to drop back if needed.

Thoughts From The Boss:

What aspects he was pleased about against Cardiff:

Our first contacts in our own box and our first to the second balls in our box because that’s how Cardiff score a lot of their goals. It will be similar to Millwall, first contact, second balls in and around our box. Because those are the ugly parts of the game, that sometimes if you don’t get those right, that’s how you lose the game.

On the competition for First Team places in the squad:

There are a lot of players that aren’t in the team and are busting a gut and have done very well in training this week to try and get in the team. My advice to the lads that have got the shirt is to try and keep it because you don’t want to be anywhere else that’s for sure. I don’t mean that as a veiled threat to them, I just mean I’m hard on some things but I’d like to think I’m fair. They will get everything off me and I want everything back.

On Millwall’s style of play:

Their strengths are they get the ball forward, they play off their strikers and they look to score from set-plays. They back the ball up well and know where it’s going. They play like a team and look like they’ve got a good spirit and the manager has done a great job for them. Our game has got to be no worse than when we came off the pitch against Cardiff last week. It is a similar type of game for us and we’ve got to make sure we’re good at the things we were good at last week and then impose ourselves.

My Score Prediction:

I think that regarding how well we’ve been playing lately, and how efficient we have been lately in front of goal, and the defence played really well against Cardiff. And I am almost certain that we will come away with at least a point, but I think that Cotts will push the lads to their maximum, and go all guns blazing for the win.

So I think that Blues will snatch the game at 2-0 this evening. Millwall can be hard to break down at times, but I think that with our attacking threats, they simply just won’t be able to keep us from scoring.

 

That’s my score prediction, but I want to hear yours! Comment your predicted score-line below, and feel free to tell us what you think about this Match Preview…

SHARE

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here