Hull City

In Focus: Millwall

05 January 2019
We take a closer look at our next opponents – Millwall – ahead of Sunday afternoon’s Emirates FA Cup Third Round clash at The Den.

Nickname: The Lions
Founded: 1885

Stadium: The Den
Distance from the KCOM Stadium: 200.3 miles (3 hours 52 minutes)

Manager: Due to the lack of time managers tend to get in the hot seat at Championship clubs nowadays, Neil Harris is the longest-serving manager in the division, approaching the three-year mark. The 41-year-old’s connection with the club has certainly served him well so far in his managerial career. He had several stints as caretaker manager before eventually getting the job on a full-time basis and he came close to pulling off a remarkable achievement last season as he almost guided the Lions to the Championship play-offs.

Neil Harris’ Managerial Record at Millwall: P212 W93 D53 L66

Star Man: It is difficult to pick out one individual star player from Millwall’s side as instead of relying on the individual brilliance from some big names, they instead rely on their team ethic. However, 23-year-old defender Jake Cooper is certainly a very important player for the Lions. He is not only a very solid defender at this level, but he is also a threat at the other end of the pitch having already scored five goals this season and is a major threat from set-pieces.

Form Guide: Considering the success they had last season, it has been a very disappointing season so far for the Lions, which ultimately sees them sat just four points above the relegation zone at present. However, their recent form has suggested that they are on track to improve their league position. Three consecutive Championship victories against Reading, Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town will see them come into this cup game full of confidence.

Formation: Harris utilised a 4-4-2 formation for the entirety of last season as he almost guided the Lions to an unlikely play-off finish, and has stuck with that set-up so far this season. Losing a number of key players this summer such as George Saville could be the reason behind why they have not enjoyed so much success this time round. However, Harris clearly believes that this is the best formation for his side.

Line-Up: After an intense run of fixtures over the festive period which culminated in the 3-2 win over Ipswich Town at the weekend, it would not be a surprise to see Harris make numerous changes to his starting line-up for this fixture. However, he does not have the biggest squad to choose from, meaning that he probably is not able to make as many changes as he would like. A number of the club’s more fringe players such as Jiri Skalak will be hoping for a rare start.

Tactics: Since Harris took over at Millwall, they have always been an extremely difficult team to play against, especially away from home. He has set the team up to play with at a high intensity and to constantly put their opponents under pressure and make life difficult. They may not have the best technical players, but they make up for that in their grit and determination. Steve Morison does give them the option to play direct but they are not solely limited to this style of play.

Head-to-Head: The two sides have met 62 times in league and cup football with the Tigers claiming 23 victories, as opposed to Millwall’s tally of 21, with 18 encounters ending as stalemates.

Last Time We Visited The Den: Millwall 2-2 Hull City | Saturday 8th December 2018
The Tigers’ last trip to The Den ended in an entertaining 2-2 draw, on what was Nigel Adkins’ one-year anniversary as manager of the club.

Kamil Grosicki gave the Tigers the lead after just six minutes but Lee Gregory equalised for Millwall midway through the first-half.

The home side then took the lead after the break courtesy of Aiden O’Brien’s left-footed strike but Markus Henriksen replied for the Tigers to ensure a share of the spoils.