Millwall v Birmingham: Preview

Blues travel Bermondsey, South East London, to The Den to take on Neil Harris’ Millwall

Build Up

Steve Cotterill will have been pleased with the performance against Cardiff City last Friday. Blues started the game brightly and deservedly took the lead. You could see the work that had been put in during the international break paying off. The players did look tired after 70 minutes but Blues deserved all three points.

The defence looked organised and the midfield caused Cardiff problems.

If they play the same against Millwall then there is no reason why they can’t come away from East London with all three points.

Millwall lost 1-0 to Brentford last time round and have had an up and down start to the season so far following last years promotion back into the Championship.

They beat Leeds one nil at home but then lost three one to Barnsley. They have lost defender Byron Webster and midfielder Shaun Williams to knee injuries. They are a strong, physical side and could cause Blues some problems.

Opposition Opinion

We asked Millwall fan, marathon runner and blogger Micheal Avery for his thoughts ahead of the game.

During pre-season, Millwall fans were wondering how would we survive in a Championship that had spending power and wages that vastly exceeded our own.

We needn’t have worried as Neil Harris has been wonderfully shrewd in the transfer market, with last season’s impressive loan signings Jed Wallace and Jake Cooper signing permanent deals, as well as signing highly rated full backs James Meredith and Conor McLaughlin from Bradford City and Fleetwood Town respectively.

The additions of George Saville and Tom Elliott from Wolves and AFC Wimbledon also showed Harris’ intent of not just making up the numbers in the English second tier.

Although we have had some negative results against Nottingham Forest, Ipswich Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers, the performance of our boys in blue has been anything but. Millwall are looking more than capable at this level and the Millwall fans are looking more towards mid-table and possibly higher rather over their shoulder at the trap door. With wins against big, established Championship sides like Leeds United, Norwich City and Reading, the Lions are a stern test against any opposition, with the only blot on our side being the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Barnsley.

Jed Wallace and George Saville have rightly taken the plaudits and have had fans and pundits scratching their heads as to why these players were ever let go in the summer. Meredith and McLaughlin look naturals at this level and the recent six international call ups have shown how well Neil Harris’ team have been playing. Millwall have proven to be a difficult opponent against those who come again us and will no doubt be more than safe this season.

Lineups

After last week’s impressive performance, the big question is will Cotterill have seen anything that he thinks needs changing. Jacques Maghoma is the one player who caused discussions after last week’s win. Sections of supporters suggesting he just isn’t up to the job and doesn’t offer enough, whilst other sections argue he offers more defensive cover. In a side that has 2/3 defensive midfielders, do you need that extra defensive cover? This is the conundrum for Steve Cotterill, and he now needs to decide whether to play record signing Jota or to leave things as they were.

For this game we’ve got a man who scored over 30 goals for Blues, Dele Adebola, who picked the following side. Dele predicts it to be 1-0 to Blues at half time. He predicts both teams scoring in the second half ending 2-1 with Che Adams opening the scoring for Blues.

Played for both

Diego Fabbrini

Italian born Fabbrini is already at his 12th club having recently recently joined Spanish side (he left Blues saying he missed Italy…) Real Oviedo on loan, He joined Blues on loan initially under Rowett and impressed enough for Blues to sign him for £1.5 million. He played 12 times for Millwall while on loan from Watford. He has played for 8 teams on loan in 8 years since starting his career at Empoli.

Steve Claridge

If you were to look up journeyman footballer in the dictionary, Steve Claridge’s name would pop up. Having played for 30 clubs in a career which started in 1983 and recently saw him come out of retirement to play in a pre season friendly for Salisbury. He joined Blues from Cambridge Utd and went on to score 35 goals in just 88 games, making him a cult hero at St Andrews. After stints at Leicester City, Wolves, and Portsmouth he joined Millwall initially on loan before signing permanantly. He 85 times and scored 26 times.

Shane Lowry

Former Aston Villa defender Lowry played over 80 times for Millwall. His Blues career lasted just 1 game. He returned to his native Australia and now plays for Perth glory, his home town club.

Previous Meetings

Birmingham City 0-1 Millwall

10 Feb 2015

The most recent meeting between the two teams was back in 2015. A solitary goal from defender Alan Dunne gave Ian Holloway’s Millwall victory. Millwall were relegated to League one along with Wigan and Blackpool.

Millwall 0-6 Birmingham City

14th Jan 2012

Blues biggest victory over Millwall came quite recently. Chris Hughton took his side to The New Den and smashed 6 past the the Lions who had Shane Lowry and Alan Dunne sent off. Goals from Curtis Davies, Marlon King, Chris Burke, Adam Rooney and Nathan Redmond saw Blues take all three points back to St Andrews.

Birmingham City 4-0 Millwall

26th Oct 1946

The first meeting between the two teams came in 1946. Harry Storer’s Blues side won thanks to goals from Harold Bodle, Neil Dougall and Cyrill Trigg. Blues finished 3rd in the division. But were three points off the promotion places.

Referee

Simon Hooper

Hooper refereed the game against Norwich City in September. He has given out 30 yellow cards and one red.

Avatar

Former season ticket holder in the Tilton. Originally from Solihull but now exiled in Leicestershire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *