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02 February 2019 Venue The Den Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Lions v Millers

31 January 2019

Millwall provide the next test for Paul Warne’s Rotherham United as they travel to The Den on Saturday in the Sky Bet Championship. Here we take a look at who the Millers will be facing in our opposition analysis…

In the Dugout

Neil Harris will be the man in the dugout for Millwall on Saturday. The former striker is regarded as a Millwall legend after becoming the club’s top goalscorer in their history, surpassing Teddy Sheringham’s 111 goals. Harris also represented Cambridge City, Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest, Gillingham and Southend United in his playing career. He also won promotion to the Championship with Millwall via the Play-offs in 2010 and was part of the PFA Team of the Year for the Second Division in 2001.

Harris retired as a player in 2013 and joined Millwall U21 as a manager. He had a short spell as caretaker manager for Millwall in 2013/14 before becoming the permanent Lions’ boss in April 2015. He guided the club to promotion to the Championship in 2017, via the Play-offs, beating Bradford City 1-0 at Wembley courtesy of a goal from Steve Morison.

Stats

Millwall currently sit 19th in the Championship table, four points ahead of the Millers who lie in 21st. In the league, Millwall have won three of their last five, drawing once and losing once. They have also progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup after beating fellow Championship side Hull City 2-1 and Premier League side Everton 3-2.

The last time Millwall played was their 3-2 FA Cup win against Everton. Richarlison opened the scoring for Everton before Lee Gregory equalised for the Lions. Everton regained the lead through Cenk Tosun before Jake Cooper levelled for Millwall. With the tie looking to go to a replay, Murray Wallace scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time to send Millwall into the fifth round.

Previous Meetings

This will be the 36th meeting between these sides with both teams winning 13 of these fixtures each, with there being nine draws. The first time these teams met was in November 1963 in the League Cup, with the Millers winning 6-2. Rotherham have won the last three times these teams have met, most recently in August 2018. A 1-0 win at the AESSEAL New York Stadium courtesy of a goal from Sean Raggett gave the Millers all three points. The last time the Millers travelled to The Den was in August 2014 with Rotherham winning 1-0. A second-half goal from Ben Pringle sealed all three points for the Millers that day.

Ones to Watch

Our Ones to Watch start with goalkeeper Jordan Archer. The 25-year old started at Charlton Athletic’s Academy before moving to Tottenham Hotspur in 2009. Archer has had five loan spells in his career representing Harrow Borough, Bishop’s Stortford, Wycombe Wanderers, Northampton Town and Millwall. He joined Millwall permanently in 2015 and he has represented Scotland from U19 level to senior level.

In defence, Jake Cooper is one of Millwall’s FA Cup heroes this season. The 23-year old started his career at Reading and has represented England at U18, U19 and U20 level. He joined Millwall initially on loan in January 2017 before making the move permanent in July 2017. He scored in the 3-2 Everton FA Cup win and helped Millwall with promotion to the Championship in 2017.

In midfield, Ryan Leonard has stepped up in recent weeks. The 26-year old started at Plymouth Argyle and had loan spells at Weston-Super-Mare and Tiverton Town. He joined Southend United in 2011 and represented the Shrimpers over 200 times. He was with Sheffield United last season before joining Millwall on loan in August 2018. In January, he has signed a permanent deal with Millwall for a club record fee.

Upfront, experienced striker Steve Morison is a threat. The 35-year old scored the goal to promote Millwall to the Championship in 2017 and is currently the club captain. He has represented England C and Wales in his international career and has represented a variety of clubs which include Norwich City and Leeds United.

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Match Reports

REPORT | Millwall 0 v 0 Rotherham

2 February 2019

Millers battle to draw in the capital..

Rotherham United fuelled their push for Sky Bet Championship survival with a point as they battled to a 0-0 draw against Millwall at The Den.

A typically industrious display could have yielded more for the visitors, who came close through Michael Smith in the second half in a game where clear cut opportunities were at a premium.

Millers boss Paul Warne went for a total restructure in formation for the clash at The Den, opting to implement a previously unused 3-5-2 formation, ringing four changes to the side that were narrowly beaten by Leeds United last time out.

The recently recalled Jerry Yates was given his chance to impress as he was deployed in attack alongside Michael Smith, while Matt Crooks was handed his full Rotherham United debut in the engine room. Richard Wood reclaimed the captain’s armband and was part of the three-man defence which also included Michael Ihiekwe, who has spent the majority of this season out on loan with Accrington Stanley.

Midfielders Richie Towell, Jon Taylor and Anthony Forde had to settle for places on the substitutes’ bench, alongside the creative Joe Newell, who has watched from the sidelines as a result of a groin injury recently.

The visitors suffered an early scare which came inside the first two minutes of action that came about following a dangerous delivery from Jed Wallace on the Millwall right. The returning Ihiekwe made a crucial header in the box to deal with the initial danger, but Ben Marshall picked up possession on the angle of the area and bent an effort at goal which looked to have Marek Rodak beaten before skimming the crossbar and going over.

Both the Millers and the hosts’ have had their set piece abilities spoken highly-of by Championship counterparts and it was Warne’s men who almost lived up to that reputation in the early stages. After a first corner from Billy Jones was repelled, a subsequent cross almost yielded a big chance. The right back’s corner found the run of Clark Robertson in the train of bodies charging for goal, but the Scotsman’s connection wasn’t the cleanest, which allowed the hosts to scramble clear.

The early exchanges continued in that fashion but this time it was the hosts’ turn to try to display their dead ball qualities. Ben Marshall’s inswinging free kick caused problems in the Millers’ area but a well-positioned Semi Ajayi ensured that Millwall had to settle for a corner, with a number of navy blue shirts looking to connect in the box.

Set pieces became a recurring theme in a first half with very limited chances. Both sides looked to utilise their size in dead ball situations but neither were able to profit with any clear cut opportunities. Robertson’s free header from a Joe Mattock corner at the back post could have been considered a half chance, but the angle was always against the former Blackpool defender, who appeared to be heading back across goal as much as anything else, before Jordan Archer made the claim at his near post.

It would be difficult to give either side the edge as the 40 minute-mark approached and it remained the case that both goalkeepers could consider their afternoons relatively quiet. That could have changed when Marshall looked to capitalise on a decent ball in from a corner, which saw him head towards goal unmarked but put his header over the target.

Mahlon Romeo looked to mix it up by taking on a volley from 30 yards out but his dipping effort made for a comfortable save for Marek Rodak in the Millers’ goal, who made an easy claim on the edge of his six yard box.

Half-time | Millwall 0 v 0 Rotherham

The second half resumed in a similar vein to the first with the ball only encroaching either penalty area from dead ball scenarios.

In a slight change of pace, the Millers’ next chance came from a long throw provided by Will Vaulks, which found Ajayi lurking in the penalty area. The Nigerian couldn’t help it on with his head at the first attempt, but remained alert and turned around just in time to rocket a powerful drive over the crossbar with two defenders in front of him.

The best opportunity of the game seemingly came out of nowhere on 55 minutes when Smith, who had struggled for service, bustled through the Millwall defence to race in on goal but the bouncing ball just wouldn’t sit favourably for him, meaning he had to lash a volley at the target which Jordan Archer expertly parried clear.

That wasn’t the end of the Millers’ pressure though and seconds later they could have registered on the scoresheet. This time Archer came too far for a ball in from the Millers right and it dropped for Smith with his back to goal, but the hosts somehow kept it out as he turned and lashed it at the empty net.

After that spell, Warne’s side’s next opportunity came in a fairly intricate fashion following some patient midfield play from Vaulks. He had a number of opportunities to pick out a channel with the ball, but instead retained it and laid it to Ajayi. The Super Eagles man skipped clear of a marker and farmed it wide to Mattock in an advanced position on the left, where a dangerous low cross fizzed agonisingly across the face of goal and behind for a home goal kick.

Robertson had probably made the most aerial connections in both boxes out of all the players on the pitch and made a crucial one in his own as the 80th minute came and passed. A wicked ball in from Marshall on the Millwall left needed clearing and the Scot obliged, stooping to head just inches, but ultimately wide, of his own upright with a number of blue shirts waiting to pounce.

It was two Millwall wingers that combined to create the hosts’ best chance of the half and arguably the afternoon. Jed Wallace’s wicked cross in from the right saw Marshall nip in front of his man to head at goal, and with Rodak rooted to the spot, time seemed to momentarily pause before the ball flashed wide of the upright.

Millwall should and probably would have won it with a counter-attack in the final move of the game. Vaulks’ long throw was repelled before the hosts charged up the other end, J Wallace’s ball across the box to an unmarked Gregory was inch-perfect, but Ajayi, who had tracked back 70 yards or so, did just enough to put him off and ensure what would have been a tap-in, ended up the wrong side of the post.

Full-time | Millwall 0 v 0 Rotherham

Millwall | Archer, Hutchinson, Cooper, Williams, J Wallace, Thompson (Morison 64), Gregory, Romeo, M Wallace, Leonard, Marshall.

Unused | Martin, Onyedinma, Ferguson, Pearce, Tunnicliffe, O’Brien.

Millers | Rodak; Ihiekwe, Wood, Robertson; Jones, Ajayi, Vaulks, Crooks (Towell 88), Mattock; Yates (Vassell 67), Smith.

Unused | Price, Vyner, Forde, Taylor, Newell.

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