For the third time this season, it is the Lions who face off with the Tigers as Neil Harris' Millwall make the long trip to Yorkshire to face Nigel Adkins' Hull City Tigers.
Last weekend was a weekend to forget for the South London side as Preston North End travelled to The Den and humiliated the home fans in a 3-1 defeat in Zampa Road. Across the other side of the capital, the Tigers were also embarrassed as they were thumped by West London side, Brentford in a 5-1 defeat.
To say both sides will be eager to right the wrongs of last Saturday would be a massive understatement and both managers will be desperate to get a positive result at the KCOM Stadium. Hull City just edge the league head-to-heads with twenty-three wins to Millwall's twenty-two and with neither side dominating the other in their last ten meetings, this could be anyone's game.
Haven't we met before?...
Hull City 1-2 Millwall, Tuesday 6th March 2018 – George Saville’s finish in the first minute was followed by a first half goal from defender Jake Cooper as Millwall continued their impressive away run of victories at the KCOM Stadium. Abel Hernandez returned for the Tigers after a long spell out due to a torn achilles, but his goal ten minutes from time wasn’t enough and the win for the Lions saw the South London side move to within six points of the play-offs.
David Marshall, Jackson Irvine and Fraizer Campbell are doubts for the home side after all came off during the defeat against Brentford. Kevin Stewart, Daniel Batty, Ondrej Mazuch, Angus MacDonald, Jon Toral and James Weir are all confirmed absences for Nigel Adkins’ side, but Jordy de Wijs could be in contention after returning from injury.
After the recent performance against Preston North End and with his post match comments hinting at changes, Neil Harris will be looking at rotating his squad and this could result in Shane Ferguson, Ben Thompson and Alex Pearce starting for the away side. Tom Bradshaw and Conor McLaughlin remain the long term absentees for the away team.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
With sixteen goals and three assists in all competitions this season, Bowen has a great strike return for a side who struggled at the start of the season and are currently in a dip in form. The forward has scored some important goals including those in the 2-2 away draw with Aston Villa, the 3-0 home win against Sheffield Wednesday and the 3-2 home win against Swansea City and with eight goals in his last nine games, Bowen will be looking to keep this impressive run going and secure the win for his side.
WHO ARE YA?
For this week’s ‘Who are ya?’, we speak for the third time this season with our friends at Hull City Southern Supporters. In this week's edition we ask them if the Tigers have picked up since our FA Cup meeting, just how dangerous Jarrod Bowen and Fraizer Campbell have been for the Yorkshire side and who do Millwall need to be weary of.
1. When we last met in the FA Cup Third Round, the Tigers were on a great run of form which got them away from danger. How have your performances been since our meeting in January?
Mixed. We’ve had a handful of decent displays, but our last three games have seen us lose 3-0 to Derby, draw 2-2 at home to Rotherham, and then lose 5-1 in a rancid display against Brentford. Our defence is beset by injuries, and it shows.
2. You are currently in a comfortable mid table position and well clear of the drop zone, are you happy with how the season has turned around or are you secretly a bit upset you didn’t start better and could’ve potentially been in play-off contention?
I expected us to finish in the bottom six, so overall I’m happy. We aren’t going to go down (and we aren’t going to go up). However, our last game and a half have been horrible. Some players are on the beach already. I’m hoping for a response against Millwall.
3. Your last trip to London saw a heavy defeat to Brentford FC. What was the reason why there were so many goals conceded?
We have a lot of injuries. At the moment we are pairing youth-team graduate Robbie McKenzie with Liam Ridgewell, signed from semi-retirement in the MLS. It has not worked well. That said, Brentford’s free-scoring display cannot be blamed on them alone. Our goalkeeper, David Marshall, had been terrific in the first half of the season but has started to look less sturdy. Left-back Stephen Kingsley seems to go through spells where he forgets how to defend. And our key defensive midfielders – Dan Batty and Kevin Stewart – haven’t startaed in a while, so there’s little protection. Any opposition worth their salt will exploit this. Millwall’s scouts at the game on Saturday will have been licking their lips. Hopefully Jordy De Wijs will be fit to play at centre-back.
4. Jarrod Bowen and Fraizer Campbell have 27 goals in all competitions for your side this season. Just how important have those two been for you?
They form one half of a terrific front four. As poor as we are at the back right now, we are largely capable of fielding a very good front four. Bowen on the right is magnificent, Campbell (when fit) does the job of several men up front on his own, Kamil Grosicki can be devastating on the left, and one of Evandro or Jackson Irvine is typically effective in the attacking central midfield spot. If we can field four out of these five, we’ll score goals.
5. Who do Millwall need to look out for?
Those named above really. Bowen was quiet against Brentford, but he’s a real class act. We’ve also got Bournemouth semi-legend Marc Pugh to come off the bench, and David Milinkovic, who was Hearts’ player of the season last year. We have quality attacking midfielders coming out of our ears. We just have no centre-backs.
6. What do you think the score will be?
3-3. Can’t see us not conceding, can’t see us not scoring.
PREDICTION: HULL CITY 1-1 MILLWALL
The two sides have been on the wrong end of humbling defeats in recent weeks and both teams were outclassed in both fixtures. Neil Harris stated after the defeat against Preston North End that hindsight is a wonderful thing and he got his team selection wrong, but the lack of real strength in depth will only improve the side marginally and I can only see a score draw at best at the KCOM.
Come on you Lions.