Fixtures Bring Tough Start To Millwall
The fixtures have come out this week for the Football League and the Premier League, and the fixture accumulators have not given Millwall the easiest start of the season by any stretch of the imagination.
The Lions will kick off the season with the exact way they finished it, welcoming the tangerines of Blackpool to The Den, not the easiest game to start of with seeing as Blackpool are the losing play off finalists, after losing 2-1 to West Ham.
It’ll be the second season in a row that the Lions will kick off against the season before play off losing finalists.
This match will go one of two ways, Blackpool will be even more determined to get promoted and provide a usual hard game as usual, or the play off hangover will still be over them and Millwall could see a result go their way. Plus rumours of players such as Thomas Ince and Matty Philips leaving the club, it could be a very different team from the play off final, with all this I could see a Lions win.
The first away trip will be to Peterborough United. This will be considered one of the easier away trips in the division, with players such as George Boyd and Paul Taylor being transfer listed due to contract talks breaking down, the Posh will have lost most of their goal threat.
But players are being bought in by manger Darren Ferguson, even though the majority are being signed from League Two and Blue Square Premier. The Lions managed to record a 3-0 win the last time they played at London Road and I’d expect the Lions to get the same kind of result.
The South Londoners then face a tougher away trip next with a trip to play newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls will be still on a high following promotion, and previous seasons show that at least one of the promoted teams carry on the last season form onto the start of the next season, plus Dave Jones has already bought in players such as Joe Matlock and one time England international Chris Kirkland, the Lions will be hoping to carry on last seasons away form but I can see this being a struggle to get points from this game.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Lions as they then welcome play off hopefuls Middlesborough to The Den. ‘Boro narrowly missed out on the play offs last season and Tony Mowbray’s team will be determined to go one better and on. A vital move away from the Riverside has already happened with winger Barry Robson off to the sunny side league of the MLS by signing for Vancouver Whitecaps, but by losing a vital player, they also signed a new one, Grant Leadbitter, who was undoubtedly Ipswitchs’ best player last year. This will be another strong test.
Milwall will then travel to the KC stadium and play Hull City,who have recently been taken over in management by Steve Bruce.
With Hull missing out on the play offs, the Tigers were underachieving by their own standards, but Bruce will be hoping to change that. With rumours such as Emile Heskey signing for the club, Hull will be trying to bring a higher quality of player to the club, and Bruce may be the man to do that due to previous Premier League experience. A unknown game at the moment for the Lions, Hull’s starting XI could be completely different come August.
The Lions start the season with some tough games, yet again in the Championship which games aren’t? All I can say is bring it on! Only two months to go…..