Preview: Millwall v Swans

1st September 2018
First team

​​​​​​​Swansea City face a stern test of their Championship credentials when they go to Millwall this afternoon (5.30pm).

The Den has long been regarded as a difficult ground to visit, and the Lions have been formidable on their own patch in recent times.

They are unbeaten in four home games this season, having drawn with Middlesbrough and beaten Derby in the Championship and found a way past Gillingham and Plymouth in the Carabao Cup.

They were a tough nut to crack in South London last season, too.

Millwall lost just four of their 23 home league games in 2017-18, a record which was bettered only by the clubs who finished in the Championship’s top four.

There has been just one defeat – to Fulham in April – in Millwall’s last 17 league fixtures in their backyard, hence they will go into today’s game with confidence.

But there should be some optimism in the away dressing room as well.

The Swans may have been beaten by Bristol City last time out in the league – before a second-string side were knocked out of the cup by Crystal Palace – but it has been a positive start to the new season in SA1.

Graham Potter’s team went unbeaten in their first four games of the campaign, showing signs during that run they can put the disappointment of Premier League relegation behind them during 2018-19.

If they could dig out a win today, the Swans would have 11 points on the board from six Championship fixtures.

After a turbulent summer, Potter and Co would be delighted with that.

 

TEAM NEWS

Millwall will be without influential central defender Shaun Hutchinson through injury, while there are also doubts over midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe.

Recent signing Jem Karacan could feature after making his debut in the midweek cup win over Plymouth.

The Swans will again be without Wilfried Bony, while Jay Fulton misses out after breaking a bone in his hand.

But new recruit Cameron Carter-Vickers is expected to feature, while Potter has a decision to make in goal after Kristoffer Nordfeldt’s return to fitness.

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

Graham Potter: “Hopefully we can get a positive result, but to do that we will have to perform well in all aspects of our game.

Millwall boss Neil Harris: “We have a massive game against a top Swansea City side coming up, and that’s all that matters in our season right now.”

 

REMEMBER THE LAST TIME?

The Swans enjoyed themselves on their last trip to Millwall, which was back in 2011.

Brendan Rodgers’s team were already assured of their place in the Championship play-offs, but kept their slim hopes of automatic promotion alive courtesy of a 2-0 victory.

Darren Pratley and Stephen Dobbie were both on target for the Swans, who would eventually miss out on the top two but made it to the Premier League via Wembley.

 

PRIME NUMBERS

12 – Oli McBurnie has 12 Championship goals so far in 2018. No player has scored more in the second tier in this calendar year.

4 – The Swans have banked four points from two away games under Graham Potter thanks to victory at Sheffield United and a gritty goalless draw at Birmingham. That is as many points as they’d picked up in their previous eight league games on the road.