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Preview: Millwall vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship fixture between Millwall and Stoke City, including team news and injury news.

Millwall and Stoke City do battle at The Den on Saturday afternoon with both teams targeting a Championship playoff spot at the end of the season.

While the home side finished seven places above their upcoming opponents during the last campaign, the visitors are being tipped to mount a promotion bid this time around.


Match preview

Millwall boss Gary Rowett on February 15, 2020© Reuters

Missing out on a playoff spot by two points would have hurt Millwall boss Gary Rowett, especially with just four wins being recorded from nine matches after the resumption.

However, ahead of the meeting with his former club, Rowett will feel that all of the foundations have been laid ahead of an improved campaign.

Changes in personnel have been kept to a minimum, with Scott Malone and Troy Parrott joining players in Ryan Woods and Mason Bennett who made impacts while on loan at the Lions during the first seven months of 2020.

With Millwall the lowest scorers of the top 15 last season, the addition of Tottenham Hotspur loanee Parrott could prove pivotal as the 18-year-old looks to impress Jose Mourinho.

While Rowett has favoured stability ahead of the new season, opposite number Michael O'Neill has gone for the opposite, shaking up a Stoke side which have under-performed since their relegation from the Premier League.

The former Northern Ireland boss has opted for a blend of youth and experience, but winning the race to bring in forward Steven Fletcher on a free transfer could prove to be one of the signings of the season at this level.

Fellow 33-year-old John Obi Mikel is also back in England after a spell with Trabzonspor, and the hugely-successful Nigerian could give the dressing room an extra edge.

Although Stoke only ended the most recent campaign in 15th position, they recorded four wins and a draw from their closing six matches, a run which included taking the scalp of Brentford.

Millwall form (all competitions): W

Stoke City form (all competitions): W


Team News

Stoke City forward Tyrese Campbell celebrates scoring against Huddersfield Town on January 1, 2020© Reuters

Millwall be without Ryan Woods, who is unable to play against his parent club at the weekend.

Despite his return from international duty, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson could be kept among the replacements for this fixture.

Matt Smith is in line to keep his place, while Jed Wallace may be preferred to Bennett.

Two weeks have passed since Stoke's EFL Cup tie against Blackpool, meaning that O'Neill may now have different thoughts about the make-up of his team.

Mikel could be preferred to Jordan Thompson in central midfield, with Tyrese Campbell and Fletcher potentially getting the nod over Benik Afobe and Lee Gregory in attack.

Millwall possible starting lineup:
Bialkowski; Hutchinson, Wallace, Cooper; Leonard, Thompson, Williams, Malone; Mahoney, Smith, Bennett

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Davies; Smith, Chester, Batth, Martins Indi; Powell, Clucas, Mikel, McClean; Campbell, Fletcher


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We say: Millwall 1-1 Stoke City

Neat passing games are unlikely to be on show in East London as both teams look to impose their physicality on proceedings. With that in mind, we can only predict a hard-fought draw between two sides who will not be prepared to give an inch.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill pictured on July 4, 2020
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