It’s a big weekend for Millwall Football Club, as the managerless Lions host Marcelo Bielsa’s high-flying, Leeds United in South London.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, you will know of the news of the departure of club legend, Neil Harris from the managerial hot seat. Opinion has been split down the middle as the whether the club record scorer should have departed Zampa Road when he did, but Millwall need to build on their previous two away draws and hope to halt their northern rivals in their tracks. Leeds United have had a mixed run of form recently, but their victory over West Bromwich Albion in their last fixture sees them go into this game against a leaderless Millwall full of confidence.
The league head-to-heads is very close and the away side just edge these with 16 wins to Millwall’s 14 with four draws between the two, but as this is Millwall vs. Leeds United, you may as well throw the form guide out the window.
Haven't we met before?...
Millwall 2-1 Leeds United, Saturday 24th October 2009 – Two of Millwall’s greatest goal scorers were on target in this fixture either side of a Patrick Kisnorbo goal for the visitors secured the three points for the Lions. It was the most recent club manager, Neil Harris, who opened the scoring for the home side and an 83rd minute goal from Gary Alexander saw Millwall rise to 8th place and pulled the League One leaders back to within touching distance of the chasing pack.
Shane Ferguson could return to the match day squad after suspension and Jason McCarthy and striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson are back in contention.while long-term injured duo Frank Fielding and Jiri Skalak are still out,
Leeds will be missing club captain Liam Cooper, and midfielders Pablo Hernandez and Adam Forshaw are still out injured.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
Connor Mahoney has had such a hot and cold start to his Millwall career and after such a promising start to pre-season and the 2019/20 Championship campaign, the wheels fell off and he looks a shadow of the player who was on fire against the likes of Real Sociedad and Preston North End. There were questions over whether he fitted in to the style of play that Neil Harris wanted, so now with a change of management and perhaps a new system introduced, could we see the more electric performances we know the winger can produce?
WHO ARE YA?
For this weeks 'Who are ya?' we sit down with Leeds United Mad, a website dedicated to all things Leeds United. This week we ask do they finally think that this is the promotion year, how do they feel about Patrick Bamford now he's found his goal scoring boots, the departure of Neil Harris and what they think the score will be.
It’s another strong start by Leeds United and once again there are the whispers you’ll go up. Is this year finally the year that you can gain promotion?
We’ve been thinking this far too many times now since being out of the top-flight. Last season was the closest though and with a second season under Marcelo Bielsa we’re hoping lessons have been learned. It has to be automatic though. We cannot go through another play-off (but obviously will take it if we have to!)
Bielsa is a top-quality manager for this level and a man who has received plaudits for his managerial style. How important is he to your club?
He is the club! Everything revolves around him. All his decisions are widely accepted. He cannot do any wrong in most supporters’ eyes. We cannot imagine life without him at the moment. And don’t want to!
After a slow start to his Leeds career, Patrick Bamford is really showing his class and how deadly he is in front of goal. How do the fans see him?
Leeds is his 9th club which is unbelievable considering he’s only 26. Like most No 9’s you get judged on the amount of goals you get. He put in a shift during the week against West Brom without actually scoring. The fans loved his work-rate. He also has Eddie Nketiah as competition now, from the bench, to keep him on his toes. He admitted before the season started that he was focused on being a lot more aggressive. He will be tested on that at Millwall for sure.
Neil Harris has just announced his resignation prior to the game, and this has thrown a bit of a spanner in Millwall’s preparations. How do you think Millwall will approach this game?
When I heard the news on Thursday night; I must admit I was shocked. Especially at the timing. He was Mr Millwall! We’re hoping it won’t be a case of a ‘new boss bounce’ in performance but I think they are all prepared for Leeds no matter what’s going on in the background.
These are always feisty affairs, and this is always one the Millwall fans look out for on fixture release day. How is this game seen by Leeds fans?
It’s always a test against Millwall and the New Den can be intimidating for most clubs. I think Leeds fans’ get frustrated at times as clubs try their best against us and then possibly don’t as much against other sides. Millwall is always seen as a battle. At least Bielsa knows this now!
Who do Millwall need to look out for?
Hélder Costa has started the last two games and started to find some form. Ben White has been awesome in defence for us as well. But hopefully the whole team will be on their toes on Saturday!
What do you think the score will be?
My heart says a 2-nil win as we have a great away record this season. However, our trips to London over the years haven’t been very fruitful. So, my head says a battling 1-1 draw.
PREDICTION: MILLWALL 0-0 LEEDS UNITED
Although Millwall are unbeaten in the last two, the South London side have not recorded a victory for a number of weeks now. Games with Leeds have always been historic and memorable affairs, but the fact we are in a bit of a rut and without a manager, I'll take a 0-0 draw at home.
Come on you Lions.