In Focus: Millwall

07 December 2018
We take a closer look at our next opponents – Millwall – ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship clash at The Den.

Millwall
Nickname: The Lions
Founded: 1885

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

Manager: Neil Harris is currently the longest-serving manager in the Championship having spent three-and-a-half years in the hot-seat The Den. The club’s all-time top goalscorer, Harris became Millwall manager on a permanent basis in May 2015 after a 10-game spell as interim boss following the departure of Ian Holloway. The Lions won promotion from League One via the play-offs in his second full season in charge in 2016/17 before securing an impressive eighth place finish in the Championship last term – a season which saw the team embark on a 17-match unbeaten run.

Neil Harris’ Managerial Record at Millwall: P206 W90 D52 L64

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, 32-year-old midfielder Shaun Williams is one player to look out for. The former MK Dons midfielder is the playmaker for Harris’ side and scored a superb goal for the Lions in their 1-1 draw against Bristol City at Ashton Gate at the weekend to secure his side a point.

Form Guide: Considering the success they had last season, it has been a frustrating season so far for the Lions, which ultimately sees them sat in the relegation zone at present. After a positive run of three wins in four games during October, Millwall head into Saturday’s clash without a win in their last five outings following draws with Bolton Wanderers and Bristol City and defeats at the hands of Brentford, Norwich City and Birmingham City.

Formation: Harris utilised the 4-4-2 formation for the entirety of last season as he almost guided the Lions to an unlikely play-off finish, and he 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 to get results and is willing to stick with it and try and turn their results around.

Line-Up: Having played against Bristol City on Sunday afternoon, the Lions have had less time to recover and prepare themselves for this game. However, they do not have the biggest squad to choose from, which means that Harris is likely to name a similar starting line-up for this crucial encounter at the bottom of the Championship. The likes of Jem Karacan and Jiri Skalak found themselves on the bench last weekend and will be hoping they have done enough to earn a 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 61 times in league and cup football with the Tigers claiming 23 victories, as opposed to Millwall’s tally of 21, with 17 encounters ending as stalemates.

Last Time We Visited The Den: Millwall 0-0 Hull City | Tuesday 21st November 2017

The Tigers’ last trip to The Den ended in an uneventful 0-0 draw which did little to ease the relegation worries for either side.

Jarrod Bowen missed two of the Tigers’ best chances of the game, whilst Fraizer Campbell also squandered a good opening.

This result did end the Tigers’ dismal run of form in the capital, which had seen them lose their previous seven games against London opposition.

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