After victory and progression in the Carabao Cup for Millwall, attention now turns back to the Football League and the visit of Graham Potter's Swansea City.
After an impressive start with two wins against Sheffield United and Preston North End on their return to the Championship, the Swans' form has dipped and they are without a win in their last three league fixtures. Millwall have been on a similar run being unbeaten in their first three games, before two league defeats against Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United have halted this progress.
History doesn't read well for Neil Harris' side and the Lions have only beaten Swansea three times in their last ten meetings, however the differences in League positions means their last encounter was in the 2010-2011 Championship season.
The Lions take on the Welsh side on Saturday evening in front of the Sky TV cameras and both sides will be eager to turn their recent form around.
Haven't we met before?...
Millwall 0-2 Swansea, 30th April 2011 – Both sides were seeking promotion towards the end of the season, but it was the Swans who had put the final nail in the coffin of Millwall's slim hopes of making the play-offs. With QPR already guaranteed one of the two automatic promotion places, Swansea were with an outside chance of joining them and goals from Darren Pratley and Stephen Dobbie kept these hopes alive. James Henry and Hameur Bouazza had good chances for the Lions, but Brendan Rodgers' side were just too strong for Kenny Jackett's South London men.
Shaun Hutchinson is a long-term absentee for Millwall, so either Byron Webster or Murray Wallace will step in as centre-back in his absence alongside Jake Cooper. After the League Cup victory against Plymouth on Wednesday, expect Neil Harris to shuffle his pack back to what has started this season, however Skalak's impressive performance against the Pilgrims will put him in contention for a league start. Fred Onyedinma has recently joined Wycombe Wanderers until January and the ongoing transfer rumors surrounding George Saville will mean Ryan Tunnicliffe may partner Shaun Williams in the centre of midfield.
Leroy Fer is fit for the away side and loan signing Cameron Carter-Vickers should also be part of the match day squad for the Swans. Oli McBurnie should shake off a minor injury and feature for Graham Potter's side, but Wilfried Bony and Jay Fulton will miss this clash due to injuries.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
Both Leeds United and Rangers were eager to sign the Scotland International in the summer, however McBurnie put pen-to-paper on a three year deal in July after stating he would would use his Championship experience to help fire the Swans to promotion. The forward spent the second half of last season on loan at Barnsley and with 9 goals in 17 games, he certainly knew where the back of the net was. His form has carried over into this season and the young striker already has 3 goals in his opening 5 games for the Welsh side.
Who are ya?!
For this week’s ‘Who Are Ya?’ we speak with Steven Carroll, a Swansea fan who runs the SoS Fanzine and is a third of the JackCast Podcast. This week we ask Steven what he thinks of Graham Potter, why he thinks the season has tailed of slightly and whether he is annoyed that Welsh bragging rights are now with Cardiff City...
1. Graham Potter was appointed manager during the summer after the club’s relegation, how did you feel about his appointment? Does his experience on the continent give you confidence?
I was really pleased as the last few appointments have been uninspiring. Potter is a more traditional Swansea appointment who wants to play the right way. His success in Sweden was staggering but it did take a bit of time and our fans will be patient with him as this is a big rebuilding job.
2. The season started well but in recent weeks has tailed off a bit. What do you think is the reason for this?
We are short in a number of areas. We only have one fit striker, central midfield is also short of bodies and at centre half we only had one senior one and a 20 year old who’s only played three senior games. I’m happy with our points rally so far, it’s more than I was expecting.
3. After spending so long in the Premier League and experiencing Europa League football not so long ago, what was the cause of your recent struggles?
A number of factors, the key one being consistently selling our best players and subsequent signings not being good enough. We’ve appointed managers who are not up to it and the new regime that have taken over have no idea how to run a club. We’ve gone from the model club to an example of how not to run one.
4. With Cardiff now in the Premier League and the bragging rights now in the capital, does this make an immediate return ever more essential?
Not for me, I think they’ll come back down anyway for what’s it’s worth. Swapping leagues was the final kick in the teeth last season but we need to focus on ourselves. If we went up as things stand we’d get battered, we don’t have the players and it’ll take time to rebuild.
5. How is this fixture viewed by Swansea fans?
As a tough one. You have a formidable home record and the Den is never the easiest place to get a result. Our victory on our last visit in 2011 was our first since the 1930’s which shows it’s a unhappy hunting ground for us. From a fans point of view though I think a lot of us are enjoying the different trips to clubs like Millwall after seven years in the Prem.
6. Which player should the Millwall fans watch out for?
Oli McBurnie is the standout one. He could be a 20 goal striker at this level.
7. What do you think the score will be?
I think we’ll lose 2-0, I’d be really pleased with a draw.
PREDICTION: MILLWALL 1-1 SWANSEA CITY
Although recent travels have not been successful for Millwall and we are yet to win away, The Den is a fortress for the Lions and I cannot see a defeat on the cards. Both sides are looking for a victory and we all know the high standards that Neil Harris sets for his players in particular, however I can see both sides cancelling each other out. At present, Millwall and Swansea are leaking goals and struggling to find the back of the net on a consistent basis, so I will go for a score draw here.
Come on you Lions.