20:00, Tuesday 10th April, Macron Stadium
“Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father. Run for your children for your sisters and brothers.” The Lions’ momentum shows no signs of stopping at the moment and Neil Harris’ men are flying. The atmosphere both home and away is electric, feeding the team to go that little bit further for longer and it will be vital when Millwall travel to Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.
The tales of the two promoted teams from League One last year cannot be more different. Millwall are currently just one point off the play-off places on a fantastic run, whilst the Trotters have spent the majority of the season near the foot of the English second tier.
The head-to-head is massively in Bolton’s favour, with Millwall recording just the one win in their last ten meetings. Millwall’s last victory against Bolton was back in January 2013, when a Darius Henderson double secured a 2-1 win, but with the Lions being in the form they are in you wouldn’t bet against them.
LAST TIME OUT
Derby County 3-0 BOLTON WANDERERS: The Rams were comfortable winners in a game which sees Bolton sit in 21st place and only two points above the relegation zone. Mark Beevers and David Wheater came close to scoring for Bolton but were also lucky not to concede a late Cameron Jerome header which just went wide of the post.
MILLWALL 2-0 Bristol City: This was quite possibly the best home display from Millwall this season. Professional, efficient, attacking and entertaining are words that can describe this victory, but the best term to use here is: DETERMINED. This was a huge game for the Lions, but at no point did we seem nervous or on-edge on the ball. Millwall were fantastic and made a good Bristol City look average.
Bolton Wanderers (4-5-1):
Phil Parkinson will pack out the midfield to try and eliminate the threat from the impressive partnership of George Saville and Shaun Williams. Ameobi will be a threat out on the right wing and Adam Le Fondre’s experience at this level will be vital for the Trotters. Despite their league position and captain Darren Pratley being a doubt, Bolton Wanderers have tons of potential and cannot be taken lightly.
Millwall will once again pick the same starting line-up that has been so successful and positioned us within touching distance of the play-offs. There are no new fitness concerns for Neil Harris, with Byron Webster continuing to be Chopper’s only member of the squad recovering from his long term injury.
KEY BATTLE: MARK BEEVERS (BOLTON WANDERERS) VS. STEVE MORISON (MILLWALL)
These two need no introductions with each other and Steve Morison will be itching to get one over on the former Millwall man. A player of Beevers’ quality should not be near the bottom of the table and he will be equally as desperate to win this battle. The Millwall skipper is a handful to play against, can get a goal from anywhere on the field and is a captain who leads from the front, but the Trotter’s number 5 knows exactly what Morison can do.
Who is more desperate for the points?
Normally when a team is just out of the relegation zone, they tend to have a few points and a superior goal difference on the team’s below. In this instance though, Bolton have a slight cushion points wise, but their goal difference is horrendous. Third from bottom Barnsley are only two points behind Wanderers with a game in hand, but they have a huge -18 compared to Bolton’s -28. Although Millwall are trying to get out of this decision at the correct end, Bolton arguably need these points more than the Lions.
The Beevers/Wheater partnership
It shows how tough the Championship is when the League One defensive partnership of last season struggles so hard to keep the ball out. Millwall have been lucky and invested wisely in the transfer windows, buying defenders with different playing styles to adapt, but Bolton have really struggled to keep their sheets clean. The Trotter’s back line can perform on the day when required, with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa showing their ability, but will the in-form Steve Morison and outstanding Lee Gregory be too much for the Bolton central defenders?
PREDICTION: BOLTON WANDERERS 0-1 MILLWALL
Although this has banana skin written all over it, I can only see one winner and that’s the boys from South Bermondsey. Millwall are in fine form and will want to put the recent disappointing away performance against Ipswich at the back of their minds. There will not be many goals in this one, but the Lions will be victorious here. Come on you Lions.