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Millwall vs. Reading FC Match Preview

December 26, 2018

Written by:

 

 

The Lions are at home for this Boxing Day fixture and it is the Biscuitmen of Reading who will join Neil Harris’ side for the Christmas festivities.

 

Both sides are currently on 19 points and its only goal difference that separates Millwall in the relegation zone with the Royals, who currently sit one place above the home side and also the infamous dotted line.  With the teams around them starting to pick up results and pull away, both sides will do everything to try and get the win or face being cut adrift from the pack they are desperately chasing.

 

The previous head-to-head’s between the two ever so slightly swing in Reading’s favour, with Reading winning half of the previous ten meetings, a run which includes the earlier league fixture at the Madejski Stadium which ended 3-1.  With that said, this league fixture last season saw the Lions comes from a goal down to snatch victory, so here’s hoping history repeats itself….

 

 

Haven't we met before?...

 

 

Millwall 2-1 Reading, 26th November 2017 – Three second half goals, including a wonder strike from George Saville, saw the Lions come from a goal down and snatch a thoroughly deserved victory from the jaws of defeat. A lacklustre first half was followed by a close-range header from Dave Edwards, but Saville’s two goals in five minutes secured the three points and saw the Lions climb up to 12th place.

 

 

TEAM NEWS

 

Jiri Skalak still remains a doubt for the Lions as he tries to shake off a virus that kept him out of recent contention.  Shaun Williams and Tom Bradshaw remain as Millwall’s only long term absentees.

 

New Reading manager Jose Gomes has a number of players out for this clash including Liam Moore, Paul McShane and Tiago Ilori.  Former Manchester United and current Netflix star, Jon O’Shea could return for the Royals after coming off the bench against Middlesbrough.

 

 

THE ONE TO WATCH -

JAKE COOPER

 

Although a difficult season so far for the Lions, Jake Cooper is a player who still continues to give 100% and has been involved in more goals than a defender traditionally has any right to be. A dangerous player in both penalty areas, Cooper is the main target in a vast number of Millwall’s set pieces and corners and will be eager to perform well against his former side.

 

 

WHO ARE YA?

 

 

For this week’s ‘Who are ya?’ we sit back down with our friends at Elm Park Royals. This week we ask why are two sides who have been so close to promotion in recent years finding themselves at the bottom of the table, what the away fans think of Jake Cooper and their views on the dismissal of Paul Clement at the start of the month.

 

 

1.  For two sides who in recent years have been so close to the play-offs and promotion, both now find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table.  Has the Championship got tougher, or is there still something wrong at the Madejski stadium?

 

Thankfully we’ve got rid of Paul Clement and our previous CEO, Ron Gourlay. Unfortunately the damage they’ve inflicted won’t be rectified quickly, but the owners appear to be getting more involved. Will this be good thing? Time will tell.

2.  Both sides currently sit on 19 points and the Royals are only outside the relegation zone above the Lions on goal difference.  With other sides around the two looking to be pulling away, is a drop to League One a real possibility?

 

Relegation is a very strong possibility unless we spend heavily in January. Maybe our new Portuguese manager can find us some Iberian hidden gems.

3.  Jake Cooper struggles for game time at the Biscuitmen, but has flourished at the back for Millwall.  What is the fans view on the giant centre half?

 

Jake splits our fans. Many are still unhappy he was forced out by Jaap Stam. He’s a world beater in the air, L1 on the floor and that’s his issue. His defending isn’t always great, our 3rd goal against you at the Madejski is an example. Switched off.

4.  You have recently parted ways with Paul Clement.  As an experienced coach, was this the right move?

 

It was 100% the right decision. Dreadful timing as it should have been done 2 months previously. Clement should stick to coaching.

5.  When the two sides met earlier in the season, Reading were 3-1 victors.  Can you see a similar score line or result?

 

There will be goals today. Both teams can’t defend and that won’t be changing.

6.  Which players do the Lions need to look out for?

 

A couple of our academy players - Andy Rinohmota & Gabriel Osho. Both have plenty of technical ability, energy and love a tackle. Osho against Cooper will be a key battle.

7.  What do you think the score will be?

 

2-3 Jake Cooper OG in the last minute. Here’s hoping!

 

 

PREDICTION: MILLWALL 1-0 READING

 

It may be because it’s Christmas and the festive season has added another layer to my blue tinted glasses, but I can see Millwall getting a winning result today.  The Lions’ luck has to change eventually and after a positive performance in our recent away fixture at the bet365 stadium, there’s no reason why Neil Harris cannot get the side pumped up for the Boxing Day fixture.  There’s always something exciting about a home game on the 26th December, so lets hope Father Christmas is feeling generous and gives us one more late present...

 

Come on you Lions.

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