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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues Host Millwall on Final Day

City finish the campaign against the Lions...

7 May 2021

The Sky Blues host Millwall on Saturday lunchtime in the final game of the 2020/21 Sky Bet Championship season. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.

                 

Fact File

Name: Millwall

Founded: 1885

Stadium: The Den (first opened 1993)

Capacity: 20,146

Nickname: The Lions

Address: The Den, Zampa Way, London, SE16 3LN

Pitch Size: 116 x 74 yards

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The Opposition

Millwall are currently 11th in the Sky Bet Championship table and will play in the second tier for a fifth successive season next term.

The Lions top scorer is Jed Wallace who has scored 11 goals this season whilst also providing six assists with striker Mason Bennett and wide player Scott Malone both finding the net on six occasions.

The capital club have won just one of their last five matches and have drawn more games (17) than any other side in the division.

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Manager

Gary Rowett was appointed Millwall manager in October 2019, replacing club legend Neil Harris in the dugout at the Den.

The 46-year-old began his managerial career with Burton Albion, being appointed on a permanent basis in May 2012 following a spell as caretaker manager of the Brewers.

He led the club to the League Two play-offs in each of his first two seasons in charge losing in the semi-finals to Bradford City before then suffering defeat in the final to Fleetwood Town the following campaign.

Rowett took Burton into the automatic promotion places in his third full season in charge before departing for Birmingham City in October 2014, with the Brewers going on to win the League Two title that season.

The Bromsgrove-born manager took Blues out of the bottom three and eventually secured a top-half finish after his mid-season arrival, before finishing in the same position the following campaign.

Despite a strong start to the 2016/17 season, Rowett was sacked by the West Midlands club following a change of ownership in December 2016 and returned to management with Derby County in March 2017.

He took the Rams into the play-offs in his only full season in charge before suffering defeat to Fulham in the semi-finals and departed for Stoke City at the end of the campaign.

However, after a disappointing stint in charge of the Potters, Rowett was sacked in January 2019 after just eight months at the helm and returned to the dugout with Millwall in October that same year, guiding the Lions to an eighth-place finish last term, missing out on the play-offs by two points.

With Millwall, Rowett has managed 85 matches recording 33 wins, 28 draws and 24 defeats.

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Last Six Games

Won – Millwall 4-1 Bristol City (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Watford 1-0 Millwall (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Millwall 1-4 Bournemouth (Sky Bet Championship)

Drew – Brentford 0-0 Millwall (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Millwall 0-3 Swansea (Sky Bet Championship)

Won – Stoke 1-2 Millwall (Sky Bet Championship)

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Last Time We Met

The two sides last met in January this year when the Sky Blues secured their first away win of the season with a 2-1 victory at the Den.

City took the lead on 20 minutes when Callum O’Hare’s excellent through ball found Jordan Shipley whose effort came back off the right-hand post before being turned into his own net by Jake Cooper.

The Sky Blues doubled their lead six minutes later when Gus Hamer’s free-kick on the edge of the penalty area was blocked by the wall and came back to the midfielder who smashed an effort into the bottom right corner.

Mark Robins side could have added to their lead when O’Hare slipped in Ben Sheaf only to be denied by Millwall keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

The hosts halved the deficit on 74 minutes when Jed Wallace scored from the penalty spot after Dom Hyam fouled Troy Parrott in the box.

City could have put the game to bed when O’Hare was denied by Bialkowski when clean through on goal before Murray Wallace was sent off in injury time after picking up a second yellow for a foul on O’Hare.

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues Wins – 30

Draws – 14

Millwall Wins – 30

Club Connections

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Richard Shaw

Sky Blues great Richard Shaw made over 300 appearances for the club before finishing his career with Millwall.

Shaw came through the ranks at Crystal Palace and would go on to make over 200 appearances for the Eagles during his eight years with the club which included playing in the 1990 FA Cup final.

He twice won promotion with the capital club as well as winning their Player and Young Player of the Year awards before joining the Sky Blues in November 1995.

The defender racked up 362 appearances in a City shirt over an 11-year spell, winning the Player of the Year award on two occasions, and scored his only goal for the club against Gillingham in May 2004.

He spent the final two seasons of his career with Millwall in League One, once again winning the club’s Player of the Year award before later taking caretaker charge of both clubs.

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Andy Marshall

Goalkeeper Andy Marshall featured for both clubs towards the end of his career having featured for England at youth level.

Marshall began his career with Norwich City, making over 200 appearances for the Canaries during his seven seasons with the club, also taking in loan spells at Bournemouth and Gillingham.

He crossed the divide to join then Premier League side Ipswich Town where he would spend the next three seasons before making a loan switch to Millwall in January 2004.

The move was made permanent in March of that year, playing for the club in the 2004 FA Cup final, before signing for the Sky Blues in June 2006.

Marshall became a firm fan favourite whilst with the club, winning the Player of the Year award at the end of his first season at the Ricoh Arena, making a total of 68 appearances during his three seasons with the Sky Blues.

He spent the next four seasons as back up keeper at Aston Villa in the Premier League, failing to make an appearance for the West Midlands club, before returning to Millwall to finish his playing career.

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Match Officials

Michael Salisbury will be the man in the middle on Saturday lunchtime, taking charge of his 26th game of the 2020/21 season.

He last refereed the Sky Blues in March last year when City beat Sunderland 1-0 at St Andrew’s on their way to winning the League One title.

This will be Salisbury’s fifth season as a Football League referee and he has officiated the Sky Blues on 10 previous occasions, with City winning five and drawing five of those matches.

So far, Salisbury has awarded 52 yellow cards and one red card across 25 matches in the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One, Sky Bet League Two, Emirates FA Cup, Carabao Cup and FA Vase.

He will be assisted by Mark Jones and Wade Smith with Oliver Langford acting as fourth official.


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