The Carabao Cup is back on Wednesday night as Millwall host Plymouth Argyle at The Den in the Second Round (kick-off 7.45pm) following the First Round penalty shootout success over Gillingham earlier this month.
Steve Lovell’s Gills held The Lions to a stalemate after 90 minutes at The Den before a 3-1 victory in the shootout saw Neil Harris’ side book their place in Round Two.
Derek Adams’ Argyle - of Sky Bet League One - entered the hat with an impressive 1-0 away win at Bristol City, with Yann Songo’o netting the decisive goal.
Plymouth Argyle have long been an established member of the EFL, founded in 1886 – one year after The Lions. The club have historically moved between the second and fourth tiers of the League pyramid and are currently spending their second season in League One following recovery from severe financial strain to earn promotion from League Two after six seasons.
The Devon side – notably the most southerly and westerly of the 92 League clubs – last competed in The Championship in 2009/10, following a six-year spell in which they peaked with a 10th-placed finish in 2007/8.
Plymouth have won four Third Division titles and have reached three domestic Cup Semi-Finals – the League Cup in 1965 and 1974, followed by the FA Cup in 1984.
Ones to Watch
Ryan Edwards is a key figure at the back for Adams’ side. Powerful and commanding, the centre-half represents part of a sturdy spine in the Argyle team, with his aerial ability useful both at the back and going forward. Edwards was in a rich vein of form last season when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer back in January – a diagnosis he had the mentality to play through until beginning his treatment, thus ruling him out for the remainder of the campaign. After being given the all-clear and working hard to retain his full match sharpness, the 24-year-old scored on his return to action against Walsall on the opening weekend of this season, and is now focused on picking up where he left off as an integral part of Argyle’s defensive options. Edwards arrived at Home Park in 2017 after four years with Morecambe, previously featuring for the likes of Rochdale and Fleetwood Town.
Graham Carey was Argyle’s star man in the eyes of many last season. The midfielder operates most effectively in behind the strikers but has the versatility to play on either flank, deeper in midfield and even at full-back. Carey topped the chart at Home Park for both goals and assists in 2017/18, striking up 14 and 13 respectively in 42 League games. A direct and dangerous attacking player and a set-piece specialist, Carey is the catalyst in the Plymouth side and crucial to their forward options. The Irishman was on the books of Celtic as a youngster, during which time he represented his country’s U21 side. Carey’s move south in 2015 was his first permanent experience in English football, with one loan spell at Huddersfield Town joining St. Mirren and Ross County as his former employers.
Ruben Lameiras has excelled for The Pilgrims since signing for the club last summer. The Portuguese wide man is adept across the midfield and provides an additional striking option, and scored six goals as well as bagging eight assists in his debut season for Adams’ side. Lameiras is a skilful, exciting player with an eager eye for goal and, at just 23, is a gem who his manager will be keen to keep hold of for the long-term. The diminutive player signed for the academy team at Tottenham Hotspur in 2011, securing a professional contract three years later. Lameiras spent time on loan at Swedish club Atvidaberg in 2015 before joining Coventry City, where he remained for two years and gained valuable EFL experience until making the move to Devon.
In the Dugout
Derek Adams is now into his fourth season at Home Park, taking the reins in 2015 after the departure of John Sheridan. The Scotsman played predominantly in his home country as a midfielder, making significant contributions at clubs including Ross County, Aberdeen and spending a six-year spell at Motherwell. Adams made his last appearance as a player in October 2007, despite officially being a player-manager at Ross County. He guided the club to the Scottish Cup Final in 2010 – beating Celtic and Hibernian – and earned the Scottish Manager of the Year Award in 2012. Adams’ second season at Argyle saw the club win promotion to League One and then turn around their poor start to last season with a series of impressive results to re-establish themselves in the division. Still only 43, Adams has plenty of potential as a coach and is highly coveted at Home Park.