PREVIEW | Wednesday -v- Millwall

PREVIEW | Wednesday -v- Millwall

The combination of apathy and disquiet amongst Wednesday fans shows no signs of abating.

Millwall, and their long winless run on the road, are next.

Should that streak end tonight, you can be sure that the apathy and disquiet will evolve into blood-boiling anger for many.

It’s worth saying at this juncture that commenting on the Instagram accounts of the chairman’s children is the mark of an utter moron.

There are well-trodden paths to take when voicing your concerns. Write to the club; post your articulate thoughts online – it’s clear that the club are abreast of what is being said on the internet.

Abuse and personal attacks are not on. Concerns about club mistakes and possible suggestions for their correction are more than welcome.

If you’d like a platform to do so – or indeed to voice support for anything or anyone at the club – feel free to get in touch.

Quickly, in my own opinion, while I’m sure Carlos Carvalhal would recognise the many mistakes he has made in his two-and-a-bit years, he continues to be the best man for the job.

While the tide of popular opinion continues to turn however, he is running on borrowed time.

The Head Coach will be pleased to welcome his captain back for the visit of Millwall; hopefully Glenn Loovens can manage more than four minutes on this occasion.

 

 

Millwall’s October has seen them record a straightforward home win over Birmingham City, while their two away fixtures have yielded one point and no goals.

At the weekend, they held Cardiff to a 0-0 draw in Wales to keep our neighbours at the top of the Championship tree.

Lions ‘keeper Jordan Archer made two first half saves to deny the home side, while the second half was equally scrappy with few clear-cut chances falling to either side.

As a result, tonight’s visitors sit above Wednesday courtesy of goal difference.

Steve Morison is still leading the Millwall line (The Sun)

Millwall have set up exclusively with a 4-4-2 this season, with Morison and Gregory frequently leading the line.

Young defenders Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper marshal the other end of the pitch, with Northern Ireland international Conor McLaughlin and Australian James Meredith both ever-presents at full-back.

The Lions will sit deep and allow Wednesday possession, looking to counter where possible. They are a creative side, taking long shots where possible: only QPR and Brentford take more shots per game than their average of fifteen.

They are wasteful though, with Lee Gregory appearing to the worst culprit, needing almost fifteen attempts to find the net.

Games involving Cardiff (28) and Boro (29) have seen fewer goals go in than Millwall (30) and Wednesday (31).

Don’t back a 3-3, then.

Former Wolves midfielder George Savile (4) is their top scorer, while nobody in tonight’s team will have more than one assist – long term absentee Shaun Williams has their best with three.

 

 

LAST 5 Barnsley (H) Derby (A) Bolton (A) Leeds (H) Birmingham (A)
WEDNESDAY D 1-1 L 0-2 L 1-2 W 3-0 L 0-1

 

LAST 5  Cardiff (A) Brum (H) Brentford (A) Barnsley (H) Reading (H)
MILLWALL D 0-0 W 2-0 L 0-1 L 1-3 W 2-1

 

HEAD 2 HEAD WEDNESDAY WINS MILLWALL WINS DRAWS
  17 13 13

 

 

LAST MEETING

 

Millwall 1-3 Wednesday

24 February 2015, The Den, Att: 8,658

McGugan 52′, Nuhiu 72′, May 83′

Christ, even Stevie May scored.

Millwall were limping their way towards relegation, while Wednesday’s season became dull and largely predictable: mid-table players delivered a mid-table finish under the dull (but successful?) football of Stuart Gray.

Wednesday had the best of the first half in our most recent meeting, but it wasn’t until neat interchange between Lewis McGugan and Jacques Maghoma allowed the former put us ahead that the team played their most incisive football.

Nuhiu and McGugan celebrate the first of three Owls goals

Atdhe Nuhiu rounded off a genuinely excellent piece of play with a tidy finish, before May added a third with ten to go.

Diego Fabbrini pulled one back for the Lions deep into added time.

The result left Wednesday in eleventh.

You can read Chris’ ramble here.

 

CARVALHAL’S COHORTS

 

Glenn Loovens could return at centre-back while Kieren Westwood made his return at the weekend.

Sam Hutchinson is back on the long-term injury list.

Daniel Pudil faces a late fitness test, while Lucas Joao is pushing for a start after making three consecutive substitute appearances.

WESTWOOD

HUNT

LEES

LOOVENS

REACH

WALLACE

LEE

JONES

BANNAN

HOOPER

FLETCHER

KEY PLAYERS

 

GARY HOOPER – So instrumental to our early season ‘form’, Hooper has to get back on the scoresheet and quickly to give this side a lift.

Often the key cog in the Wednesday machine, Hooper has had a quiet couple of games in which chances have admittedly come at a premium.

Millwall have been terrible on their travels all season; when Hooper’s one chance comes tonight, you feel he has to take it.

GEORGE SAVILE – The former Wolves midfielder is his side’s top scorer and the creative fulcrum of the Millwall midfield. He retains and uses the ball better than any of his colleagues.

It’s not quite the case of stop Savile – stop Millwall; but limiting his influence on the game will not only hinder our opponents, but give the impetus to messrs Bannan and Lee to create something for Wednesday.

 

 

THE BETTING BOX: 5 OF THE BEST

 

BET Wednesday WIN Barnsley WIN DRAW
HT/FT Barnsley/Wednesday Lee FGS
BEST ODDS 21/20 7/2 13/5 43/10 Evs
BOOKIES Marathon

 

HUGH’S VERDICT:

This is the first time in recent memory that Wednesday have not been odds-on to beat a team from the bottom half of the table.

Millwall can be a dangerous side, the statistics tell us that, if they were more clinical, the could be nine or ten points better off.

Many would decry Carlos Carvalhal if he said such a thing in public (“We’re at home, let’s play our football and win!”) and while there is some truth in what they say, the first thing you do to break a bad run of form is tighten up at that back.

This looks set to be a dull encounter and the winner – if there is one – will be scrappy, whichever side it falls to. One goal will probably do it.

VERDICT: Millwall to win 5-4.

Hugh
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: owlsalive@gmail.com
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg

Images: SWFC, unless stated. Line up images: Getty.


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