Millwall’s first away fixture of the 2018-19 season sees Neil Harris’ men travel up to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers. Both the Lions and Rovers are coming off the back of 2-2 draws, where late equalisers from Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town respectively denied the two sides the win.
History is in favour of Tony Mowbray’s side, as they are undefeated against Millwall in their last five meetings, winning three and drawing two. Millwall’s last victory at Ewood Park in the league was in 2012, when goals from Chris Wood and James Henry secured the three points for the South London side.
Last season’s League One runners-up will be confident going into this game as their 96 points from last year shows they know how to get important victories, but Millwall will be eager to bounce back from last week’s disappointment and get the win.
Haven't we met before?...
Blackburn 2-0 Millwall, 21st April 2015 – Two second half goals from Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes condemned interim boss Neil Harris’ side to defeat and the relegation trap door was being slowly opened underneath the Lions. Millwall had plenty of chances at Ewood Park to get something from the game, but ultimately it was Blackburn who were more clinical in front of goal.
Although disappointed with the end result last weekend, Neil Harris was pleased with his side’s performance for the majority of the game with Middlesbrough. Jiri Skalak is a player who is eager to start and the Millwall fans are excited to see the new signing, but Aiden O’Brien did enough to ensure he will keep his starting role on the left-wing.
Millwall fans will be wary of new Blackburn signing Adam Armstrong, who has a tendency of finding the back of the net against the Lions. Armstrong will be looking for a start and new signings Jacob Davenport from Manchester City and Joe Rothwell from Oxford United will be looking to feature too.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
Although only playing a handful of games for his hometown club, Armstrong has built a reputation as being a proven goal scorer in the Football League. Armstrong’s goals may’ve dried up slightly when he was at Bolton Wanderers on loan at the start of last season, but the young striker shone when he re-joined his old boss Tony Mowbray at Blackburn and finished the season with 12 goals. Neil Harris will be wary of the forward whose pace and finishing will give his defence a torrid time and both Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper will have to be at their very best.
Who are ya?!
For this week’s ‘Who Are Ya?’ we speak with @TalkBlackburn. This week we ask them how the last few seasons have been for a Blackburn fan, whether Rovers will be a surprise package and who the Lions need to look out for.
There has been an element of turmoil at Ewood Park over the years, but brighter days are on the horizon now you are back in the Championship. How have the last few seasons been as a fan?
Being a Blackburn Rovers fan over the last few seasons (minus last season), it has been very difficult. Each season in the Championship we sunk further and further down the table and when you believe there was stability at the club, there would be another problem that would arise for Blackburn Rovers. Especially going through the period of selling all of our star players at the club and not seeing any money from that. It has been difficult.
You gained automatic promotion at the expense of Shrewsbury Town who spent a large portion of the season in the top 2. What do you put your form down to?
I would put Blackburn Rovers form down to a couple of things; The manager, a manager wanting success for the club, seeing situations from a fan’s perspective and very experienced in the League. Secondly, the positivity around the club, I haven't seen Rovers fans and the team like that for many years, we kept hold of quality players last season and these players including new players i.e. Dack had a desire to win for Blackburn Rovers!
How do you see the Championship? Is this season more about consolidation for Rovers or do you think you may be a surprise package?
This season for Blackburn Rovers I would love to see a surprise, but we have to be realistic and I expect Rovers to hold comfortably within the Championship, I expect the current squad without any additional signings to finish around 11-9 place.
What player do Millwall fans need to be wary of in this fixture? Will Adam Armstrong be one who will be one we need to keep our eye on?
Personally, I think Millwall will need to keep their eye on Bradley Dack. I have a feeling Millwall will have a 2-man mark approach on him, as I believe many teams don't expect Bradley Dack to perform how he will. The link up player between himself and Danny Graham not many teams can handle, and we saw that against Ipswich last week. With Adam Armstrong, I think he'll be an impact sub for Saturday, so I wouldn't expect anything from him.
What do you think the score will be?
I am confident with our team, I would go with a 2-0 win for Rovers especially being at Ewood Park and I would Lehinan to score the first goal.
PREDICTION: BLACKBURN ROVERS 1-1 MILLWALL
Both team will be desperate to get the first win of the season under their belt, however I can see both teams cancelling each other out. Ewood Park will be a tough place to visit this season and wins will be tough for an away side, so if Millwall can get a point at Blackburn Rovers then I think Neil Harris will be happy with that.
Come on you Lions.