The duck has been broken and Millwall’s unbeaten start to the campaign finally has a league win. Neil Harris’ side make the midweek trip to Hillsborough where they take on Jos Luhukay’s Sheffield Wednesday.
The Lions will come into this game feeling confident. Neil Harris has been full of praise for the way his side have stood up to the tests of both Middlesbrough and Derby County, with the two first halves of both fixtures showing that Millwall are more than capable of mixing it with the league’s big boys. The potential banana skin against recently promoted Blackburn Rovers didn’t cause our boys to slip, but Chopper will be conscious of how his side seem to run out of steam in the latter part of games.
Although no wins in the opening three games doesn't mean certain relegation, Sheffield Wednesday find themselves in a position they would not like to be in. The Owls have two defeats and one draw from the start of their campaign and will be eager to get a vital three points on the board. History for this one leans towards the home side, as the Lions have only beaten Wednesday twice in the last ten meetings, but as Millwall showed on their travels last season, the form book gets thrown out of the window when the South London side are on the road…
Haven't we met before?...
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Millwall, 31st October 2017 – Two goals from Adam Reach and Jordan Rhodes were enough to secure the win for the Owls and leave Millwall in 16th place after 15 games. Tom Elliott equalised for the Lions in the first-half, but Wednesday were too strong and condemned Neil Harris’ side to their third defeat in five games. Jake Cooper saw red in second half injury-time in what turned out to be a miserable night for the Bermondsey side.
Neil Harris will likely name the same side that has started the previous three league games, as they continue to build momentum. Byron Webster was not in the match day squad for the Derby game and the likes of Shane Ferguson, Jiri Shalak and Ryan Tunnicliffe will look to make an impact from the substitute's bench.
Jos Luhukay has a number of noticeable absentees for this home fixture, although Morgan Fox could feature for the Owls. Joost van Aken and Lucas Joao have ankle and groin issues respectively, while Kieran Lee, Almen Abdi and Gary Hooper are still absent from the match day squad.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
It may be early days, but Lee Gregory's form has been phenomenal and he has been the catalyst in the majority of Millwall's goals so far this season. The striker has been arguably Millwall's Man of the Match in their last two home fixtures, and the way he sits on the shoulder of the last defender and naturally finds space shows how dangerous he is. As a product of the Sheffield United youth academy, Gregory will be eager to find the back of the net against his former team's rivals and with the form he is in then you wouldn't bet against him.
Who are ya?!
For this week’s ‘Who Are Ya?’ we speak with Paul Holmes from @Wednesdayite. For this game, we find out why the Owls have struggled for a win, what style of football do Sheffield Wednesday play and what the home fans think of the Lions...
1. The start of the season hasn’t been the greatest for Sheffield Wednesday, why have the side struggled to pick up any points so far?
We were unable to strengthen the squad due to the transfer embargo, five senior players have left and we have had to reply on some of the younger players coming in to fill the gaps, whilst they have performed well the team has not yet gelled.
2. Players like Steven Fletcher, George Boyd and Gary Hooper have Premier League and SPL experience but have barely featured in the league. Have they fell out of favour with the manager?
Steven Fletcher was out injured for a lot of last season and has started two of the games so far, he needs to regain match fitness to be in full contention for a starting place.
Gary Hooper has not played since Boxing Day due to a long standing hip injury, he went to Barcelona at the end of July for specialist treatment. We expect him to be back in contention by the end of September.
Boyd, another player who was out of a lot of last season having had two operations on his shoulder. He does not appear to be fully fit and has only played in the Sunderland cup game, but has been an unused sub for the league games.
3. What style of football do The Owls play and what are your side’s strengths?
Great question which many of us cannot quite work out! We appear to be playing too defensively and hoping to catch on the break, but without the quick players you need to operate this.
We are strong in the goalkeeping department and have a some talented players (Bannan, Forestieri), beyond that we are struggling.
4. Hillsborough hasn’t been the most successful stadium for Millwall. How are the Lions viewed by the home fans?
The Millwall game will be seen as a must and should win by most fans.
5. Which player should Neil Harris and the away fans look out for?
Forestieri - a great talent who can change a game.
6. Finally, what do you think the result will be?
Expect it to be close as we aren’t creating much, so 2-1.
PREDICTION: SHEFF WEDS 0-1 MILLWALL
Although not the most popular of hunting grounds for Millwall, the form the Lions are in will be too much for the Owls. This game will be a tight affair and may only have the one goal in it, but the lack of first team players in the starting ranks for Sheffield Wednesday will mean this will be long night for the Yorkshire side.
Come on you Lions.