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Stoke City vs. Millwall Match Preview

December 21, 2018

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The final home game before the Christmas period sees Neil Harris' side make the long travel up to the bet365 stadium where Millwall will face off against Gary Rowett's Stoke City.


The Potters experienced a slow and underwhelming start to the Championship campaign since their relegation last season and although the club find themselves in 11th place and only five points off the top six, their recent run of results has been mixed and sees only three wins in their last ten games.


It goes without saying there is intense pressure on the Lions and not winning since the 3-0 home victory at the end of October against Ipswich Town sees Millwall in 22nd place on only 19 points.  A win for the visitors and results going the South Londoners' way will see the Lions jump out of the bottom three, but Millwall will need to dig deep and attempt to gain a victory at a ground they have not won at since November 2002.



Haven't we met before?...



Stoke City 0-1 Millwall, 23rd November 2002 – A solitary goal in the opening two minutes from Steven Reid condemned Stoke to an eight successive defeat and heaped the pressure on the new man in the hot seat, Tony Pulis.  The Lions had the opportunity to increase the lead when Paul Ifill, Glen Johnson and Steve Claridge came close, but the Potters rarely threatened and Millwall's third away win of the Division One campaign was never in any jeapordy.





Peter Etebo should return for the home side after completing a three match ban due to his red card against Derby County.  One player who will miss this fixture is young forward Tyrese Campbell, who sits this one out and is still awaiting his first league start of the season.


Millwall's squad is starting to build back up after recent injury worries, but Shaun Williams and Tom Bradshaw remain the two long-term injuries for the Lions.






There is no denying it, Benik Afobe is a top class act in English football.  Scoring goals for fun in the Championship over the last few seasons, eyebrows were raised when Wolverhampton Wanderers loaned the striker to Stoke City less than two weeks after signing him for £10,000,000.  A player who was historically watched by FC Barcelona when he was in the Arsenal youth system, Afobe has seven goals this season in all competitions and we all know for a fact that if he is on his game then the Millwall defenders will be in for a torrid time.






Both teams are inconsistent and both sides will be eager for the three points, but for totally different reasons.  There will be more pressure on Millwall to get a result and Neil Harris will be desperate for the win, but the frailties at the back will mean that the Lions are likely to concede.  With that said, Stoke are susceptible to attack and have conceded five goals in their last four games also so don't expect a home clean sheet either.  A score draw is my prediction leading into the busy Christmas period.


Come on you Lions.

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