The Carabao Cup is back at The Den and Plymouth Argyle are the visitors to South London for the second round. Derek Adams makes the long, 240 mile trip to Bermondsey, hoping that his struggling side can record a cup upset which could be the spark in a tough start to the season.
Plymouth's only win so far in the 2018/19 campaign has been in the League Cup, with the Devon side being 1-0 victors over Bristol City. Their league form so far has seen the Pilgrims scoring a goal-a-game in all but one of their 5 fixtures, however the ten goals conceded shows defensively they have issues. The 5-1 home defeat to high flying Peterborough United in particular was damaging to morale and unless these frailties are ironed out, a return to League Two could be on the horizon.
Millwall's league form has been mixed, with positive results against Middlesborough, Blackburn Rovers and Derby County being followed by consecutive defeats against Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United. Neil Harris will be eager to bounce back from these Yorkshire disappointments with progression to the next round and history is on the Lions' side, as the Pilgrims have only beat Millwall once in their last ten meetings.
Haven't we met before?...
Plymouth 3-5 Millwall, 10th November 2015 – This Southern Area quarter-final was an eight goal thriller and saw the South London side progress to the semi-final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. A hat-trick from Lee Gregory and strikes from Shaun Williams and Aiden O'Brien were enough to see Millwall progress, although two long range finishes from Graham Carey and Jake Jervis made this a nervy encounter for Neil Harris' side.
Neil Harris will make a number of changes to his starting eleven, but unlike in previous games when he has wanted to give fringe players minutes, this could be a game that sees those on the side lines stake a claim for a league place. With last season’s Player of the Season, Shaun Hutchinson out for the foreseeable future, Byron Webster has been confirmed as starting this second-round tie. New loan signing Tom Bradshaw is cup-tied and the ongoing transfer sagas surrounding George Saville and Fred Onyedinma will see the two replaced for this fixture.
Derek Adams will field a strong side as he looks to cause a cup upset, but one player who is in the dark on his status at the club is Ruben Lameiras. Despite being an important member of the team last term, the Portuguese midfielder has found himself out of the side and the matchday squad in recent weeks. As this is a cup fixture, Adams may consider giving him a run out, however the interview the Pilgrims manager gave with the Plymouth Herald suggests the 23-year old may miss out again.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
Although a centre-half by trade, the popular defender already has 2 goals in his three games for Argyle so far this season. Bravely fighting and recovering from cancer at the start of the calendar year, Edwards has said he has come back in better shape than he thought he would have and is highly thought of by all those at the Devon club. Standing at an imposing 6’5’’, Edwards will be a handful at dead balls and will be the target man for any aerial balls that fly into the Millwall box.
Who are ya?!
For this week’s ‘Who Are Ya?’ we speak with @IJN3, representative from Plymouth Argyle Supporters on the Internet. This week we ask why the League One campaign seems to be stalling, whether it is the Pilgrims’ back or forward line that resulted in their 7th place finish last year and what he thinks the score will be in this Carabao Cup fixture.
1. After a season where you just missed out on the play-offs, this season has not got off to the greatest start. What do you think the reason to this is?
We are all as non plussed as everyone else. Some blame lack of decent pre season friendlies and others blame the turnover of staff, whatever ever it is, hope it ends soon. If Harry Kane can score in August we can surely (next season) get a win in August.
2. Although you finished 7th last term, your goal difference was -1. You managed to keep eleven clean sheets last year in all competitions, was it the lack of goals that cost you?
Not really, it was more the fact that we had a very thin squad, our first team was excellent but under that, we were weaker. When the team walked off at Scunny, I think we had nine injured.
3. How are Plymouth fans viewing this cup fixture with Millwall?
Run of the mill really. We won't travelling our 1000's, a) Because of our form and b) Because it's not the most attractive of ties, for either of us.
4. Ryan Edwards is back in the side and got a goal on his return from cancer. How does it feel to see the young defender back playing and also scoring for the Pilgrims? Do you expect him to feature?
A wonderful guy, and my website PASOTI sponsors him both home and away. He should figure in the game and knowing Eddy, he'll sneak in the back door and score one. One of football's good guys.
5. What style of play do Plymouth play?
If we score first which we often do, we defend and defend. We park the bus, and let team attack in waves. Just ask Bristol City.
6. Which player do Millwall fans need to look out for?
Graham Carey (10) he scored one of the best goals I've ever seen a few years ago against you guys at Home Park from 38 yards. If he fancies it, he can cause any team pain. Our loan goalie Macey is a joy to behold. Arsenal are lucky to have him in their ranks. He's 6'7" and can get down very quickly as well.
7. What do you think the score will be?
1-1 and we win on penalties 10-9 :-)
PREDICTION: MILLWALL 2-0 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE
Although this is a League Cup game, the two league defeats for the Lions will mean that Neil Harris will be eager to return to winning ways - even if it is against lower league opposition. Millwall will be too strong for the Pilgrims and should keep a clean sheet, although Argyle will be more interested in the performance from their players on the field rather than what the score line will be.
Come on you Lions.