It's the last league game before Christmas and it is the visit of Barnsley under their caretaker manager Adam Murray in this Saturday's EFL Championship fixture.
Millwall are currently firm favourites to get the three points in this game after an excellent run of form under Gary Rowett. Although still arguably new to the team, Rowett has very quickly become a favourite amongst the Millwall fan base and the upturn in results since his arrival sees the South London side on a seven game unbeaten run which leaves them only two points outside the play-offs. Barnsley's return to the English second tier has been a tricky affair and the Yorkshire side currently find themselves bottom of the table and four points from safety. The Tykes will be desperate for any kind of positive result in South London and will be inspired by their recent 5-3 victory over London side, Queens Park Rangers.
The league head-to-heads between the two over the years are very close and it's the away side who just edge the victories with 22 to Millwall's 20 and ten draws.
Haven't we met before?...
Millwall 1-3 Barnsley, Saturday 30th September 2017 – Two goals from Tom Bradshaw contributed towards a 3-1 away win for Barnsley as they convincingly defeated a very average Millwall side at The Den. A Lee Gregory penalty in first half injury time got Millwall back into the game and saw both teams go in at the break at 1-1, but in truth, Millwall were never really in this game and Barnsley were worthy winners in this autumn tie.
Ben Thompson is 50/50 for this game after coming off injured against Derby County. Shane Ferguson, Ryan Leonard, Frank Fielding, Tom Elliott and Jason McCarthy are still out for Millwall in the last game before Christmas.
Now that both Aapo Halme and Ben Williams are back in contention, Barnsley have practically a full squad to choose from and with a large scoreline in their last victory with QPR, the Tykes' boss may remain with the same side.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
The centre back continues to impress under Gary Rowett and after last weekend's display against Derby County, you may see the giant defender try his luck again out on the left wing! Cooper has had a slightly inconsistent start to the league campaign, but with an experienced manager at the helm and being allowed to express himself more on the ball, Cooper is starting to really shine at the heart of the Millwall defence. With a height that towers over the vast majority on the pitch, Cooper is also the target man for most of Millwall's dead ball attacks, so expect action at both ends of the field if he is on his day.
WHO ARE YA?
For this week's 'Who Are Ya?', we sit down with the Reds Report, a weekly radio show and podcast that discusses all things Barnsley. This week, we ask the guys if they think the northern club will get out of relegation trouble, what listeners can expect from their show, is Tom Bradshaw still well thought of and what they think the score will be.
1. It’s been a tough start to the season so far for the Tykes and you are currently in the relegation zone going into Christmas. How has the season been so far as a fan?
The Stendel fairy tale came crashing down with a bang. Rigid in his formation and team selection, 4 points after 15 games were not good enough to keep his job. The appointment of Gerhard Struber was left field but over the past few weeks reds fans are seeing changes in mindset and confidence with more of the squad playing to their best ability. This has seen us pick up a few more points
2. A while back you were languishing behind, but recently you have made somewhat of a catch up and are now only four points from Luton Town. Is there a chance for Championship survival this season?
Definitely, however, there's a feeling amongst supporters that the revival needs to start now. A 5-3 victory over QPR last week means nothing if we don't build on that result. Cutting out individual errors is a must, we've lost 12 points from positions where we were in the lead.
3. Tell us more about the Reds Report. What can we expect if we were to tune in?
The Reds Report is a weekly live radio show that's uploaded as a podcast later that day. Every Thursday we are Live at 5 and can be listened to via Tunein or your Amazon dot/echo.
4. Millwall have former Barnsley striker Tom Bradshaw up front, is the forward still keen spoken about in Yorkshire?
Yes, people understood why Bradders wanted to move down south and he was a great striker for us. So he's highly regarded (expect in matches where he faces his former club of course)
5. Barnsley have always had a bit of a hoodoo over the Lions, how can you see this one going?
Mixed opinions in the studio...on paper Millwall have the better form but there is a hint of a mini revival for the Reds. Scoring for us is not a problem, it's the leaking goals that does us. Whilst we hope for a win away , a point on the road would not be a bad result. The team are capable of getting a result though.
6. Who do Millwall need to look out for?
The 3 main men for the reds are Conor Chaplin (6 in 6), found real form and confidence under Struber. A handful for any defence.
Alex Mowatt, captain and our midfield general. Hardworking, hard tackling and has 7 assists to his name. Cauley Woodrow, you can never rest on your perils when Cauley is playing. In the new formation under Struber he's found more freedom and playing some of his best football
7. What do you think the score will be?
As it is nearly Christmas and the season of joy and optimism, we're going 1-3 to Barnsley!
PREDICTION: MILLWALL 2-1 BARNSLEY
A few years back and under some different managers in our history, this had the potential to be a bit of a banana skin. But with Gary Rowett now at the helm, the Lions will go into this on confident they can get something from the game. There will be goals from both sides, but I can just see Millwall edging it.
Come on you Lions.