After elimination in the fourth round of the FA Cup last weekend by one Yorkshire side, The Lions make their way up north to face another Yorkshire side, high-flying Leeds United.
There is always some spice when the two sides meet and both teams have a lot to play for going into this one, but the pressure will be more in the camp of the home side as their impressive points tally they achieved at the start of the season has slowly eradicated and they are now only three points clear of Fulham in third place. The home side have only won once in their last seven games so will be desperate to get the win against their South London visitors. Aside from the FA Cup defeat, Millwall go into this one in great form and momentum, being one of the most efficient and successful sides in the league since Gary Rowett took the reigns. A positive result could see Millwall go into the top six, so Rowett will be just as keen for the points as his counterpart, Marcelo Bielsa.
Millwall were the victors when these two sides met earlier in the season, with the side from Zampa Road being 2-1 victors, and the away fans will be salivating at the thought of doing a league double over Leeds on the road, but this fixture has proven over the years that the form book really does go out of the window...
Haven't we met before?...
Millwall 2-1 Leeds United, Saturday 5th October 2019 – Millwall caretaker manager, Adam Barrett, had a gargantuan task ahead of him after the sudden departure of Lions legend, Neil Harris, but the stand-in boss was cool and composed as he led his side to an unpredictable home win. An early red card given to Gaetano Berardi, after a foul on Tom Bradshaw, led to a successfully converted Jed Wallace penalty, and this was followed by a tidy flick by Bradshaw just before half time. Ezgjan Alioski reduced the deficit at the start of the second half, but Bielsa's men just didn't have enough to defeat the home side.
Ian Poveda will be looking to feature for Leeds after signing from Manchester City, but one player who will miss out is Kalvin Phillips, who is currently serving a ban.
Millwall's midfield is currently very threadbare, with Shaun Williams suspended and Ben Thompson and Ryan Leonard both out with injury. The Lions will also be without goalkeeper Frank Fielding who is currently resided in the treatment room. Tom Bradshaw and Jed Wallace will likely regain their places in the starting eleven after being on the bench for the FA Cup game.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
Patrick Bamford may be a player who has had seemingly more clubs than Tiger Woods, but with ten goals in 29 games for United this season, he certainly knows where the back of the net is. Bamford is going through something of a goal drought at the moment, but to say that this is the main reason for United's recent slump is somewhat unfair. On his day, Bamford has proven he is worth every penny that has been spent on him over the years and when in form, he is one of the most deadly strikers in the division.
WHO ARE YA?
For this week's 'Who Are Ya?', we sit back down with Kevin from Leeds United Mad. This week we ask Kevin does he think this year is Leeds' year, who has impressed him this year, what did he make of the earlier fixture and what he thinks the score will be.
We’re at the business stage of the season and Leeds are still flying high. How has the season been for United fans?
Excellent. So far. We could only have dreamed of what has happened over the last 2 seasons a while ago. Challenging for an automatic spot and being involved in the play-offs. We’ve been so mid-table for so long it’s been refreshing to say the least.
Leeds are currently in second place, three points clear of Fulham in third. Do you think this year may finally be the season for automatic promotion?
We thought that last season! Hopefully everyone will have learned a lesson from that and ensure we don’t mess it up again. But it ain’t over until the fat lady etc. etc.
Which players have impressed you so far?
Ben White, who is on loan from Brighton, has been outstanding so far. He’s my pick. Looks the part in defence; although he’ll be in a different position on Tuesday night. Kalvin Phillips has also been a highlight, carrying on his great form from last season.
The earlier fixture between the two at The Den ended in defeat for Leeds. There is a sense of a rivalry between the fans so how keen are you to overturn this result?
Thought we got mugged to be fair. Hopefully referee James Linington won’t be officiating again! We need a victory and it just happens to be Millwall next so we need to get back on track.
Jean-Kevin Augustin has just signed for you and is a great addition at this level. Can you see more movement in the window?
Marcelo Bielsa indicated no more signings were coming but you never know what might happen between now and Friday night. Like you say, JKA is a great addition but he’ll need a bit of time to get ‘Bielsa’d’!
Who Millwall need to look out for?
The whole team should be up for it on Tuesday night so from 1 to 11 I can’t pick any one player out to be fair. Ian Poveda could make his debut after joining from Man City last week, so we’re all looking forward to seeing him. But hopefully our ‘keeper will have a quiet night!
What do you think the score will be?
Gary Rowett has done a great job so it won’t be easy. No side have earned more points than Millwall (29 from 15 games) since his first match in charge at the end of October. However, I’m going for a 1-0 or 2-1. To the Whites of course!
PREDICTION: LEEDS UNITED 1-1 MILLWALL
This is going to be a really tough test for The Lions, but as a lot of key players were rested for the Sheffield United game, there will be some dangerous players with fresh legs. Leeds are a tough nut to crack, however Millwall relish playing at Elland Road and always get great backing from the away fans, so a score draw and a point back in Bermondsey is my prediction.
Come on you Lions.