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Match Previews

Preview | Swindon Town v Millwall

11 March 2016

All you need to know about Saturday's game

Spectators of tomorrow's clash between Swindon and Millwall may well witness a war of attrition between managers as well as players at the County Ground, as both team bosses seek to defend their impressive records in the run-up to this weekend's meeting.

Neil Harris will be exuding his usual air of quiet confidence after his side's almost perfunctory 3-0 win against Blackpool last weekend, underlining Millwall's steady and inexorable improvement as the season progresses.

With only one defeat in 11 outings Chopper will be hoping to extend the recent trend against an opponent experiencing their own recent renaissance in form.

Swindon Head Coach Luke Williams is in ebullient mood after receiving a ringing endorsement from his club with a new five-year contract, and an impressive 12-point haul from their last four games.

The Robins last outing resulted in a 2-0 win against Doncaster Rovers, against whom The Lions managed a 1-1 draw a fortnight ago.

What the managers say


Luke Williams, fresh from signing a five-year contract just two days ago: "I'm really pleased because it's huge backing from the chairman.

"It's quite out of the blue. I'm sure the chairman spent a long time considering everything and only brought it to my attention when he was absolutely sure of what direction he wanted to go in, so it was a pleasant surprise."

Neil Harris: "They are a very dangerous side and are one of those teams who are certainly on the way up. 

"Swindon have moved away from any relegation worries they had early in the season to be a real force. Whether they are close enough to put a run together to make the Play-Offs only time will tell, but with their current position, they can play with some freedom and express themselves which makes them difficult opposition. 

"They have some real attacking purpose to their team and we will have to be at our best to deal with them and impose ourselves on the game."

Team news 

Swindon's match at Oldham last Saturday was postponed due to snow so Luke Williams' side have not played since 1st March when they recorded a 2-0 win against Doncaster - their fourth straight League One victory.

Striker Jermaine Hylton had missed that game for personal reasons, but expects to be available for the visit of Millwall. Robins boss Williams has not hinted at any further possible changes to his playing squad.

Millwall boss Harris will once again be without defender Joe Martin, who serves the second of a two-game suspension following his 10th booking of the season in the 0-0 draw with Wigan Athletic.

Carlos Edwards, who stepped in to fill the vacant left-berth last weekend against Blackpool, was forced off injured early in the second-half of The Lions' 3-0 win. 

The experienced defender will be assessed ahead of kick-off at the County Ground. Shane Ferguson dropped back from left midfield to defence in Edward's absence for the last half an hour of the Blackpool game and provides an option for manager Neil Harris. Centre-half Mark Beevers has also played at left-back this season and is another possibility should Edwards be ruled out. 

Millwall welcomed midfielder Ed Upson back to the squad last weekend following a three-match spell sidelined with a hamstring injury and he is again included in the travelling party for Saturday's game.

Shaun Cummings and Tony Craig remain long-term absentees.

Head-to-head

The two teams have met 95 times to date with The Lions holding a narrow advantage over Swindon with 38 wins to The Robins 31, with 26 games ending in a draw.

However, recent encounters tell a very different story with The Lions showing a clear dominance over their south-western opponents.

The statistics will make grim reading for Swindon supporters who would need to cast their minds back through the mists to May 1985 to recall the last time their team took maximum points off their London opponents. On that day The Robins ran out 2-1 winners.

Since then Millwall have been in imperious form with subsequent encounters resulting in four wins and two draws for The Lions.

Neil Harris was a second-half substitute the last time the two teams locked horns at the County Ground in October 2009. On that occasion, Town's Scott Cuthbert handed the home side a 15th-minute lead before they were reduced to 10 men following the 27th-minute dismissal of Jonathan Douglas.  


It became 10 v 10 with just under half an hour remaining when Millwall defender Andy Frampton was sent off and Kenny Jackett's side looked to be heading to defeat. 

However sub Danny Schofield popped up with eight minutes remaining to plunder a point for the visitors in a season that was to finish with The Lions defeating The Robins 1-0 at Wembley in the League One Play-Off Final. 

Last time we met

First-half goals from Lee Gregory and Aiden O'Brien saw Millwall beat struggling Swindon on 17th October 2015 and claim a much welcome second home win of the season.

Gregory opened the scoring by firing in from O'Brien's cross and the winger made it 2-0 when he shot past Robins keeper Lawrence Vigouroux from inside the box.

Steve Morison was thwarted three times by Vigouroux, who prevented Millwall recording a more emphatic winning score-line. 

Millwall: Archer, Edwards, J.Martin, Craig, Beevers, O'Brien, Williams, Saville, Ferguson (Onyedinma, 66mins), Morison (Pavey, 90+1min), Gregory (L.Martin, 79mins). Subs not used: Forde, Cummings, Webster, Thompson.
Scorers: Gregory (19mins), O'Brien (26mins)

Swindon Town: Vigouroux, Barry, Branco, El-Abd, Ormonde-Ottewill, Traore, Bangoura (Stewart, 64mins), Gladwin, Ojamaa (Randall-Hurren, 52mins), Brophy (Balmy, 46mins) Ajose. Subs not used: Marshall, Belford, Iandolo, Young.

Betting

Swindon are 9/4 with Sky Bet to win on Saturday, with Millwall available at odds of 6/5 to earn all three points. The draw is 12/5.

Robins forward Nicky Ajose is 9/2 to score first or last, whilst Lions current top scorer Lee Gregory is priced at 5/1 and 66/1 to bag a hat-trick. 

Jed Wallace, who hit his first goal in a Millwall shirt in last weekend's 3-0 victory against Blackpool, is listed at 10/1 to open or close the scoring, or 3/1 to grab a goal at any time during the 90 minutes.

For a comprehensive list of odds on Saturday's game, visit Sky Bet.

Coverage

Full match commentary from the County Ground will be available to Lions PlayerHD subscribers as usual.

Regular updates will also be available via @MillwallFC, the club's official Twitter account.

Tweets by @MillwallFC

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