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Wigan Athletic vs. Millwall Match Preview

May 4, 2019

Written by:

 

It’s the final game of the 2018/19 season for the Lions and it's a long trip to the DW Stadium for Neil Harris and his side as Millwall travel up to face Wigan Athletic.

 

With safety guaranteed for both sides and nothing to play for position  wise, you would think that this would be a dead rubber and that the two teams would just go through the motions, however Neil Harris' recent post match comments have turned that theory on its head.  Seemingly indicating there has been an aspect of changing room unrest, Chopper has demanded that the players who play for the Lions this season must show him and the fans 100% commitment and there's no time but the present to show this.  The Latics have had an up and down season this year and although at one point was in the top half of the table, they are currently in 18th place and will want to finish this year on a high.

 

 

Although something of a bogey team for the Lions in the late 90's and early 00's, Millwall actually lead the head-to-heads between the two and have twelve league wins compared to Wigan's five, with the spoils shared ten times.  This may be a game that may not have much riding it, but both managers will be looking to end the season in a positive way. 

 

 

 

Haven't we met before?...

 

 

Wigan Athletic 2-2 Millwall, 29th September 2015 - It was a late strike from Will Grigg that denied the three points for Neil Harris' side and saw the Lions drop to twelfth place.  It was the home side who took the lead in the second half when Michael Jacobs found the back of the net before goals from Fred Onyedinma and Mark Beevers saw Millwall take the lead.  Chopper was happy with his team's performance, but would have been disappointed that his team conceded so late.

 

 

 

TEAM NEWS

 

There are no new fresh injury concerns for Wigan going into this game, but it will be Chelsea loanee, Reece James' final game for the club.

 

Aiden O'Brien, Jed Wallace, Ben Marshall, Ben Thompson and Shaun Hutchinson all miss this game for Millwall with injury and illness.  Neil Harris could be tempted to include the same three youth players he had on the bench for the defeat with Bristol City.

 

 

THE ONE TO WATCH -

LEE GREGORY

 

 

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 thirteen 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.  This is more than likely going to be Lions' talisman's last game for the club and it will be fitting if he ends his Millwall career with a goal.

 

 

 

 

WHO ARE YA?

 

 

For this week's 'Who Are Ya?' we sit down again with The Pie and Night, a Wigan Athletic podcast.  This week we ask the guys why have the team been so inconsistent this season, which players Millwall need to look out for and what the score will be.

 

1.  49 points and guaranteed Championship football again next season.  How has the 2018-19 campaign been for the fans?

Well, the club has definitely met its objectives this season, the plan would have been to consolidate in the division and arguably we’ve done that.  We’ve gone about it the hard way though and, despite great a start and finish to the season, it’s been hard to watch at times and we managed to talk ourselves into a relegation battle at one stage.

Still, what doesn’t get you relegated makes you stronger and hopefully we’ll have learned lots of lessons that will put us in good stead for next year.

2.  One loss in your last eight games shows you can pull positive results out when you need to, but you also had a spell where you lost eight out of ten half way through the football year.  Would you say a lack of consistency was a major issue and stopped you from finishing higher?

I’d see our season as being three periods of consistency.  We were good for the first quarter of the season, brilliant in fact, and deservedly looked like play-off contenders.  We’ve had a return to that sort of form over the last few weeks, but in the middle we’ve been consistently poor and had to rely on trying not lose games rather than going for the win.  Some of that has been down to confidence, but you can’t underestimate the impact that losing key players like Powell, Massey & Jacobs has had on our play.

3.  Nick Powell is your top goal scorer this season, but has only found the back of the net eight times in all competitions.  What has been the problem in front of goal?

See my previous answer.  Whilst there have been times we could have thrown a little more caution to the wind, we’ve simply not had our best attaching players available to us.

4.  The earlier game at The Den saw Millwall run out 2-1 winners.  How can you see this one going?

Neither side has anything to play for so anything could happen.  I hope that means both teams will relax and give us a great game of football. 

If that’s the case then I think Latics will shine through and finish the season on a high.

5.  Which player(s) do Millwall need to look out for?

We’ve already mentioned Powell, Massey and Jacobs, if any make the line up.  Reece James has been the undoubted star this year though and should be playing Premier League football next season even if Chelsea don’t show faith in his definite quality.

All home fans will have their eyes on the bench in the hope that one of our “all conquering” U18s makes it onto the pitch.  Favourite to make his bow is Charlie Jolley.  Fingers crossed that that he gets on and makes a case for next season

6.  What do you think the score will be?

I hate making predictions and I usually go for the opposite of what I want to happen.  I’m feeling optimistic today though and I’ll go 4-2 to Latics.

 

 

PREDICTION: WIGAN ATHLETIC 1-1 MILLWALL

 

With nothing to play for and a tough season for both, I can see the two sides cancelling each other out and a score draw.

 

Come on you Lions.

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