It’s the final home game of the 2018/19 season for Neil Harris’ Millwall side and it is Bristol City who are the visitors in this rearranged fixture at The Den.
Although the Lions gained a point against Stoke City last weekend and took another step towards survival, it was the result at The Hawthorns which confirmed Championship safety for Millwall when West Bromwich Albion defeated Rotherham United 2-1. Bristol City, on the other hand, have had a good season and with two games to go still have a slim chance of making the play-offs.
The league meetings between the two has seen the Robins just edge the head-to-head with thirty-two wins to Millwall’s thirty and thirty-one draws shared. The Lions may now finally be in the position to have nothing to play for, but Neil Harris will be keen to finish the campaign on a high after a disappointing season in the league.
Haven't we met before?...
Millwall 2-1 Bristol City, 1st January 2013 - The new year started on a high for Kenny Jackett’s men as goals from Dany N’Guessan and Adam Smith secured a vital three points for the Lions and saw Millwall climb back up the table. Jon Stead had equalised for City just after the hour mark, but the South London side were too dominant and it was the on-loan defender, Smith, who won the game.
Millwall will be without Ben Thompson as he recovers from a hamstring injury and Tom Bradshaw also misses the game as Millwall’s other long-term absentee. Shaun Hutchinson will look to return after recovering for a recent bout of illness.
Antoine Semenyo is suspended and will miss this midweek clash, while Korey Smith is still out with a foot injury.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
Although Gregory may not have the goals he would like for the season, the forward is still a quality player who is a nightmare for the opposition to mark and has a workload that is a constant threat. With twelve goals and seven assists in this campaign so far, the Millwall front man will be looking to add to this tally and finish the season on a positive note.
WHO ARE YA?
For this week's 'Who Are Ya?' we sit down with the One Team in Bristol Fanzine. This week we ask the guys why the goals seem to have been in low supply this season, how good have the defence been and which players the Millwall players and fans need to look out for.
1. There’s two games to go and you’re still in with an outside chance of the play-offs, how has this year been for you as fans?
It's been a fantastic season for us, bear in mind back in August we had just lost our best three players, the spine of the side. Big scoring centre half Aden Flint went to Middlesbrough for a better chance of getting Premier League football, 20 goal Bobby Reid was snapped up by Neil Warnock for Cardiff's one off season in the Premier, which was a surprise as he is probably the opposite of a typical Warnock player. Joe Bryan attacking left back who scored a wonder goal against Manchester United in our League Cup triumph walked out of talks at Aston Villa at the 11th hour of the transfer window to join Premier side Fulham. So with all these gone plus Hordur Magnussson to CSKA Moscow and Champions League football, most City fans would have been optimistic of a mid table position while some were even predicting a relegation battle. Lee Johnson tried to calm fans by saying we had a stronger squad, which was extremely hard to see and accept, but as the season has gone on, it seems he has been proved correct. So with only a handful of games left to be still in with a slim chance of the play offs, it has been a great season with so many good memories.
2. Although you are just outside the top six, you have only scored 56 goals in the league this campaign, yet those above you (excluding Boro) are in the 70+ region. Safe to say the defence have been the shining lights this year?
One of the weaknesses that has been highlighted since the departure of Tammy Abraham and Bobby Reid is the lack of fire power up front, and the lack of quality in this department is probably why we will probably just miss out on the top six by a small margin. The defence pairing of Tomas Kalas (on loan from Chelsea) and Adam Webster (replacement for Aden Flint) from Ipswich have proven a massive plus point this season. Webster, the City Gerard Pique, has recently been awarded player of the season, rightly so. Kalas has shown the class which helped Fulham get promoted last season and we hope we can hold on to him for next season.
3. Famara Diedhiou is your top goal scorer this season but only has 12 goals. Why has their been such a drought of goals this year?
Diedhiou was banned for six games at the beginning of the season for apparently spitting at a Birmingham player on the final game of last season, however there was no evidence given at the hearing but in true FA fashion why let facts get in the way of the truth. We bought Fammy from French side Angers, the same club we acquired Johnathan Kodjia (now Villa), while Diedhiou works his socks off for the team while mostly on his own up front, his control and finishing sometimes can let him down. But I suppose that's what you get for £5m these days. Anders Weimann has scored 10 goals but if you think 5 of those came in the first 5 games, the rest of the season has proved as fruitful, although in his defence he has been played on the wing more so since that flourishing start.
4. The earlier meeting between the two was a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate, can you see similar in this one?
Our style of play is more suited to playing away, so you may see a different City. Wins at promoted Sheffield United and Middlesbrough recently have backed this up. With only a win meaning anything for us I think we will give it a go and maybe just edge it, especially as Millwall have no secured their place in the Championship for next season.
5. Which player(s) do Millwall need to look out for?
Really depends on which team is selected, we have a lot of very good players, but no one super star that stands out, which is a good thing for our team spirit which has shone through this season. Niclas Eliasson (No 19) is a gifted winger with consistency in his crossing. Kalas (22) and Webster (4) should be a rock at the back, Paterson (20) slight but can be tricky and creative, Brownhill (8) a tough tackling work horse in the middle, Weimann (14) and Diedhiou (9) up front will never stop running, while tiny Jay Dasilva (3) in the left back position has been superb this season while on loan from Chelsea.
6. What do you think the score will be?
Hoping for a win, maybe 2-1 to keep our season going as long as possible.
PREDICTION: MILLWALL 1-1 BRISTOL CITY
Millwall’s Championship safety is secured and the Lions will be back in the English Second tier for a third successive season since their play-off victory in 2017, but this doesn’t mean they will take this game lightly. Neil Harris may try new things in this game to take into next year and I can see this being a score draw.
Come on you Lions.