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MATCH PREVIEW: Millwall vs. Sunderland

March 2, 2018

Written by:

15:00, Saturday 3rd March

 

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but Millwall's form is so delightful.  On the back of four consecutive away wins, coming from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday at home and being only a few points off the play-offs, the Lions are oozing confidence and host bottom of the table Sunderland.

 

With Chris Coleman now at the helm, and with a number of technically gifted players  in their squad, Sunderland should not be four points from safety in 24th place.  Sunderland haven't won in five, losing three, and they will be disheartened going into the game at South Bermondsey against a team who have picked up thirteen points from an available fifteen.

 

 

 

LAST TIME OUT

 

 

 

Burton Albion 0-1 MILLWALL: A sign of a confident side is one who can go away, not play well and still get a result. That is exactly what the Lions did at the Brewers.  Managing to grind out a result against a team fighting for their lives, a 61st minute winner from Ben Marshall was the difference which took Millwall up to midtable.

 

SUNDERLAND 3-3 Middlesbrough: A 96th-minute goal and an ear cupping celebration towards Tony Pulis denied Boro the three points, and gave the Black Cats their first point after three consecutive defeats.  This was a heated derby which also saw two red cards, and could be a catalyst for a late survival push.

 

 

 

LINE-UP

 

 

Millwall (4-4-2):

 

This will be yet another unchanged line-up for the Lions, as Neil Harris will again pick his strongest side for this game.  Aiden O'Brien and Byron Webster are back in training but won't feature, but do expect to see Fred and Tim Cahill given minutes if Millwall are comfortable half way through the second half.

 

 

Sunderland (3-5-2):

 

Coleman will pack out the midfield for this game and will be hoping it's mustard. A side who boasts players with bags full of International, Premier League and Championship pedigree should really be an intimidation for the Lions, but Sunderland must've crossed a number of Black Cat's paths and will not be confident visiting The Den.

 

 

 

KEY BATTLE: SHAUN WILLIAMS (MILLWALL) VS. LEE CATTERMOLE (SUNDERLAND)

When given time and space on the ball, there aren't many players better in the Championship than Shaun Williams.  Sunderland will be looking to nullify this, and the perfect man to do this is Lee Cattermole.  Cattermole loves to get stuck into a challenge and break down the opposition's attacks, but the Sunderland man does have a discipline problem when he gets frustrated.  Will this work in Millwall's favour, or will the Black Cats midfielder have a bad day at the office?

 

 

 

TALKING POINTS

 

 

 

The Cahill Factor?

 

The Sunderland fans have an unhealthy obsession with Tim Cahill, and although the Australian attacker will be probably starting the game on the bench, the Black Cats faithful keep going on about the amount of goals he has scored against them in the past.  This no doubt will be Neil Harris' ace up his sleeve, and I think Cahill will definitely play a considerable amount of minutes in this game.

 

 

Is Coleman the man?

 

Chris Coleman has built a reputation of being a top class manager, one that has led his nation through a successful Euro 2016 campaign and was seen as the man who could lead Sunderland out of relegation trouble.  But now he has settled in, the results do not seem to have gotten any better.  Is this down to the players, or have Sunderland got the manager who managed Real Sociedad, Coventry City and Larissa FC rather than the one who inspired Wales?

 

 

PREDICTION: MILLWALL 2-0 SUNDERLAND

 

 

Millwall will be too strong for the Black Cats, and Sunderland will not be able to get anything from a side that is so united at the moment.  For the first time in a long while, Millwall have some depth on the bench that can impact a game if it needs to, and Lee Gregory up front will be too much of a handful for John O'Shea.  Come on you Lions!

   

 

 

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