Sky Bet League One preview: Millwall vs. Peterborough

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

SHAUN Williams is banned and Ed Upson is an injury doubt for the visit of Peterborough to The Den this weekend.

Upson was injured at the end of the first half in the 2-0 defeat to Scunthorpe on Tuesday night and was being assessed by the club this week. Ben Thompson could start alongside Jimmy Abdou on Saturday.

Mark Beevers was left on the bench by manager Neil Harris after Sid Nelson’s good form in the wins at Walsall and Rochdale, but the young centre-back’s error that gifted Scunthorpe the chance to take the lead through Gary McSheffrey could convince Harris to restore the more experienced Beevers to his starting line-up.

Joe Martin could also come back in at left-back against the third top scorers in the league with Shane Ferguson then an option to start on the left wing in place of the out-of-form Aiden O’Brien.

Harris wasn’t too despondent after the defeat to the Iron cost the Lions a chance to go fifth in the League One table, preferring instead to focus on the strides made this season.

Harris said: “As poor as I thought we were with the ball we had the odds moments of brilliance in our attacking play with defence-splitting passes, balls into wide areas, good balls into the box and good movement.

“It was probably too few and far between to sustain any real pressure.

“But I just said to the boys, ‘You can’t get too carried away when you’re winning, and you can’t get too down when you get beaten’.

“We have to remind ourselves that we’re sixth in the league and have come a hell of a long way this season.”

Peterborough have won only once in six games since losing top scorer Conor Washington to QPR in January, though two of those fixtures were against West Brom in the FA Cup.

Graham Westley signed Tom Nichols from Exeter to replace Washington, and the striker scored the winner in their last away game in the league at Chesterfield.

However, the Posh were hammered 4-0 at home by Bradford last weekend.

Westley says his side need to win the majority of their remaining 16 games to have a chance of promotion, starting on Saturday at Millwall whom he said he was impressed with despite their defeat to the Iron midweek.

“Millwall losing was probably the worst thing that could have happened in a way,” Westley told Peterborough Telegraph. “That result will steel them for our game. They obviously won’t want to lose at home twice in the same week.

“Millwall actually played very well and had chances to get something from the game so they won’t be lacking confidence ahead of our game.

“We have some ground to make up, but it’s a very close division and a string of wins will soon make the league table look very different.

“It could be we need to win 10 or 11 our last 16 games to have a chance of going up. You can look at how many points have been needed in recent seasons, but no two seasons are the same.

“To win promotion you have to win a lot of a games. It’s as simple as that. I wouldn’t call Millwall a must-win match though as there will still be plenty of points to play for after Saturday.

Millwall record against Peterborough:

Played 30

Won 14  Drawn 6  Lost 10

Form guide (Last five league):

Millwall: WDWWL

Peterborough: DLLWL

Sky Bet odds:

Millwall 23/20  Draw 13/5  Peterborough United 21/10

Probable Millwall team:

4-4-2: Archer; Romeo, Webster, Beevers, J Martin; Wallace, Abdou, Thompson, Ferguson; Morison, Gregory.

Last meeting:

League One, October 3, 2015

Peterborough 5

Angol (15), Taylor (19, 81), Forrester (69), Washington (72)

Millwall 3

Webster (52), Craig (55), Beevers (74)

Peterborough: Alnwick (Henry, 30); Smith, Zakuani, Almeida Santos, Elder; Washington, Bostwick, Maddison, Taylor (Collison, 82); Angol, Coulibaly (Forrester, 45).

Millwall: 1Archer; Edwards, Webster, Beevers, Craig; Onyedinma, Williams, Abdou (Thompson, 5 (Gregory, 75)), Upson (Ferguson, 62); Morison, O'Brien.

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)