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Southend United vs. Millwall Match Preview

July 24, 2019

Written by:


After successive pre-season victories against Concord Rangers and Gillingham, it's a visit to Roots Hall for Millwall as Neil Harris takes the Lions to his former side, Southend United.


The South London side have continued to be busy in the transfer window and a number of those new faces have featured regularly this summer and in the recent training camp in Portugal.  The new arrivals appear to have fitted well and the re-emergence of Jiri Skalak in last Sunday's game in Medway has the Millwall fans feeling positive again.


Southend will be looking to put last season's poor campaign behind them and although guaranteeing League One survival on the final day was exciting, questions will be asked why a side of the size and stature of the Shrimpers nearly fell into the bottom tier of English football.  This may be a pre-season friendly, but both teams will be eager for a win and a good performance.





Haven't we met before?...



Southend 3-1 Millwall, 17th September 2016 - A more dominant second half for the home side was enough for Southend to record their first win of the season as goals from McLaughlin and O'Neill were what decided this League One game at Roots Hall.  Aiden O'Brien's 33rd minute equaliser after an early David Mooney strike brought Millwall back into the game, but this was a convincing victory for the Shrimpers and saw them leap out of the relegation places.






This will be another game that will see some rotation throughout, but with the start of the season approaching, expect a strong line-up which wouldn't look out of place as Millwall's first team.  Eyes will also be on Tom Bradshaw, who although has made vast improvements since his injury, did not feature in the away feature in Gillingham.






The wide man arrived in South Bermondsey to a large fanfare and big things were expected from him, but Skalak's debut season following his move from Brighton and Hove Albion was largely frustrating.  Injuries and a lack of form kept him out of the squad for a large portion of the 2018-19 campaign, but a pledge to work hard followed by a sensational goal and performance against Gillingham has him on the tip of Millwall fans' tongues.








For this week's 'Who Are Ya?' we sit down with All at Sea, the regular fanzine for Southend United and their fans.  This week we ask are the Essex side looking forward to this fixture, will it be nice to see Neil Harris again and what do they think the score will be.


1. Millwall are your midweek visitors for this preseason friendly. Was this one of the fixtures which excited you or is this seen as slightly drab?


I think one of the biggests wastes of preseason is to fill the fixture list with a load of minnows that get tonked 6-0. Milwall represent a decent test of how the team has/is coming together and so it's more exciting than Weymouth, though perhaps a little less exotic


2. This has been an interesting preseason for the Shrimpers which has seen plenty of goals. Have there been any gems to comment on?


We lost a lot of key players over the summer and our first signing was a striker which wrong footed a lot of us as we were fairly well stocked there. Stephen Humphrys has looked good but the opposition has looked poor. Most of us are just wondering who the trialists are.


3. Although seen as a Millwall man, Neil Harris also has a strong affiliation with Southend and was a boyhood fan. Will it be nice to see your old striker back at Roots Hall?


One of my favourite memories is Millwall fans bollocking their GK at a prior preseason game at RH because they wanted Harris to score a penalty against them. He's a good bloke and obviously a good manager. He's got a job at The Den for as long as he wants but I wouldn't mind seeing him on our side of the dugout at some point in the future.


4. You were involved in one of the most tense battles for League One survival last year, how did that feel and how can you see this season going?


Last year's relegation battle was a free-for-all with 12 teams scrapping it out with 7/8 games to go. To stay up with a late goal on the last day was as good a feeling as promotion and the sort of drama that my poor heart could live without next year. 19/20 is about consolidation, Bond doesn't have an enormous CV as a manager so I expect we'll see a variety of results, we should be fine if we can avoid the injuries that blighted us last season. With a bit of luck we could even sneak into playoff contention but that's more in hope than expectation.


5. Finally, what do you think the score will be?


We haven't kept a clean sheet yet so I expect you'll score. Probably 2-1 Millwall. Ryan Leonard will get a classic preseason 40 yarder at a ground he knows so well.





I can see this being a close game and the home team looking to put in a good performance against their Championship opposition, but I think the Lions will be just too strong for the third tier side and will get the job done.


Come on you Lions.

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