by, 07-03-2011 at 10:13 PM (309 Views)
Tuesday 8th March 2011
Npower Football League Championship
The New Den Stadium
Referee: S J Tanner
Millwall (13th) V Queens Park Rangers (1st)
By The Godfather
Following a fantastic victory over Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers face a difficult fixture against Millwall at the New Den. London derbies are often tense, even affairs and sometimes produce surprise results, as evidenced by the goalless draw between these two sides at Loftus Road earlier in the campaign. However, the Lions are without a win in five matches and therefore could be lacking in confidence. Three points for the Super Hoops could see them extend their lead at the top of the Championship to eleven points (depending on other results, of course). I am sure that Neil Warnock will fancy his chances.
Manager: Kenny Jackett
After four campaigns spent in League One, Millwall finally managed to achieve promotion last season, beating Swindon Town by a single goal in the Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium.
Many expected the Lions to struggle in the Championship. However, they seem to have proved the pundits wrong, currently lying in 13th position, comfortably ahead of the relegation scrap. Despite some terrible results over the course of the campaign, such as an embarrassing 6-1 home defeat to Watford, Jackett’s men have always managed to ‘bounce back’ and have so far not allowed a single abysmal result to provoke a disastrous run of form.
That said, Millwall have not won any of their five previous fixtures, including a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Middlesbrough (which sparked crowd trouble at the New Den). Thus, Jackett will view this as an important match for his team.
Man to watch
Millwall’s top scorer and main attacking threat is Steve Morison, who has netted an impressive total of 13 goals this campaign. The 27 year-old joined the Lions in 2009, after spending three successful years with Stevenage Borough, during which he scored 68 times in 127 appearances. Morison is clearly a talented individual who could cause QPR problems on Tuesday night.
September 2010 (extract from my match report) - Most of the post-match message board discussion has focused on incidents of violence outside Loftus Road. All I have to say on the matter is that any set of supporters which requires such an enormous police presence should not be allocated 3000 away tickets.
Turning now to the game itself, Queens Park Rangers really should have taken all three points against a hard-working Millwall team. The Rs squandered several golden opportunities, but were not helped by one of the most incompetent refereeing displays I have seen for some time. In fact, by the end of the match, both sets of supporters were screaming abuse at Mr Probert, a man who sometimes officiates in the Premiership. His decisions were inconsistent and often bizarre, an example being his failure to even book the Lions goalkeeper for pushing Adel Taraabt to the floor in the second half.
To Millwall's credit, they defended very well, managing to cope under enormous pressure from Warnock's men. However, they possessed very little quality in attack, their chief tactic involving hoofing the ball up to their main striking threat, Steve Morrison. In truth, the Lions never really looked like scoring, their only two chances coming in the closing stages of the match. Nevertheless, Kenny Jackett will be pleased with this result against the league leaders.
QPR Team News
Fitz Hall limped off the pitch during the 1-0 victory over Leicester City – it is unclear as to whether he will be available at the New Den. Tommy Smith has recovered from his hamstring injury, but he may have to accept a place on the substitutes’ bench, since Warnock is unlikely to drop Akos Buzsaky. Jamie Mackie, Lee Cook and Peter Ramage remain long-term absentees. Martin Rowlands will not feature for Millwall under the terms of his loan agreement.
Hopefully, on this occasion, the post match discussion will focus on events on the pitch rather than crowd trouble. Everyone is aware of Millwall’s reputation and I am sure that this will be a hostile atmosphere for away supporters and players. However, I don’t believe that the likes of Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill, Shaun Derry and Danny ****tu are going to be particularly affected by this: they are such strong characters. Taarabt, however, might be, and he may require the support of the manager and his teammates.
Providing that QPR can maintain their level of performance, I think they are capable of winning this game comfortably.
Millwall 0-2 Queens Park Rangers