It`s Bolton`s first league away day of the season tomorrow. This season will see a return after a short break from some grounds, but this weekend offers a trip we made last season – Millwall. Both teams came up from League One and have started the season in similar vein, a defeat in the league by the odd goal, before cup wins in midweek.
Likewise, we`ve both been made early favourites for relegation, so this could be an early chance to strike a psychological blow. Nothing more than that though. Obviously, it would be daft to brand this a six pointer. It`s match two of 46 you know.
“We know all about them. They know about us. It`s about switching to that away from home mentality which we showed so well last year. The front two are key to their team. Morison and Gregory have done well over the years and we`ve got to be ready to deal with their strengths and exploit the weaknesses of their side as well. It`s always a full-blooded game at Millwall.”
Phil Parkinson in his press conference, also expecting “nothing from the ref.” Nice.
“We have had a really good home record over the last couple of years and we will certainly look to continue that this year. They`re a big, physical side and we will have to ready for whatever they throw at us.”
Millwall boss Neil Harris talking about us on their official site.
Millwall Team News:
Potentially, there might be some interesting Millwall team news. Lee Gregory came off in midweek with a hamstring problem and will be assessed before kick-off. Jake Cooper is in the same situation, after an ankle problem also forced him off against Stevenage.
Player to watch: Steve Morison
The former Welsh international is in a second spell at the Den, where he has in total 63 goals in 168 league appearances. Whether or not partner in crime Gregory is alongside him tomorrow, we`ll be facing a striker who has both strength and pace, and was one of the Lions` better performers against Forest last weekend.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Bolton have no new injury concerns, but are obviously without David Wheater in the short term, and longer-term, Sammy Ameobi and Josh Vela. Darren Pratley is in line to start his first league game of the season after illness ruled him out last weekend, while Reece Burke is likely to replace Wheater after a good start to life with Wanderers.
Player to watch: Mark Beevers
Beevers goes back to his former club for the second time in a white shirt tomorrow. There were rumours over the summer that a bid was tabled to bring him back down south, but it was a story that never gained traction. He`ll likely get dogs abuse, but a strong performance from him will be needed in Wheater`s absence.
Match Facts & Stats
Bolton are unbeaten in their last three trips to the Den, and have just lost one of their last five, winning three of them.
Bolton managed a quick-fire double over Millwall last season, we won 2-0 at the Den but both goals were scored by players missing tomorrow (Ameobi and Wheater). A month later, we won by the same scoreline at the Macron. Funnily enough, Josh Vela scored the opener that day.
Bolton have won just one of their last 14 Championship games in London, but that came against Millwall in December 2014, Darren Pratley scored the only goal that night.
Again, our away first league game of the season is in London. Last season, we broke our away duck with a 2-1 win at Wimbledon.
Bolton have failed to win any of their last 25 Championship away games, since a 3-0 win at Cardiff on Easter Monday in 2015.
Adam Armstrong has scored twice and set another goal up in two games against Millwall.
Millwall managed to go 17 games unbeaten at home last season.
This is a game we can and should target. Millwall have made one or two signings over the summer but it`s not a vastly improved team to the one we took six points off. But we are missing a few key players – in light of that, I reckon a 1-1 draw.
A trip to Birmingham on Tuesday, before we host Derby on Saturday.