League One preview: Millwall vs. Bolton Wanderers

NEIL Harris must decide whether to name the same team that brought the four-game losing streak in the league to an end at Northampton on Saturday.

Aiden O’Brien, Shaun Cummings and Shaun Hutchinson will all miss the Bolton clash on Tuesday night, but all three are close to a first-team return.

Lions boss Harris tweaked his system with the Cobblers’ physical threat in mind, and Bolton will pose a similar challenge.

Ben Thompson has played the last 135 minutes in a narrow role on the left of midfield and with Calum Butcher scoring his first goal for the club last weekend Harris will find it difficult to leave out the former Burton midfielder.

That could mean Shane Ferguson and David Worrall having to be content with places on the bench. If Harris decides to name Thompson, Butcher and Shaun Williams in his side he could play Ferguson at left-back. But Harris praised Joe Martin for his defensive intervention before Lee Gregory scored Millwall’s first goal on Saturday, and Bolton will look to threaten from wide areas.

Harris was pleased Millwall made it two wins on the bounce after a run of six without victory, but he isn’t getting carried away with his side still just three points above the relegation zone.

“We want to be in a better league position,” Harris said. “We are where we are because we’ve been on a disappointing run and there’s no hiding that.

“But it’s the first time in my tenure that we’ve been in a disappointing spell and we all have to learn. We don’t have a blame culture, we have responsibility, me included.

“What we’ve done against Gillingham and Northampton is carry a bit of momentum. We’ve got a really tough four days coming up against two really good sides. They’re going to be tough games but we can go into them with confidence and belief and go and enjoy them.”

Botlon could have four former Lions players in their squad: Mark Beevers, Chris Taylor, Liam Trotter and James Henry.

That will give the occasion an added edge, as will the fact Beevers and Taylor rejected Millwall to sign for Phil Parkinson’s side in the summer.

Parkinson has almost a fully fit squad to choose from. Tom Thorpe is the only doubt, with Derik Osede in line to replace him.

Millwall record against Bolton:

Played 41

Won 16 Drawn 8 Lost 17

Form guide:

Millwall: LLLWW

Bolton: LLWWW

Probable Millwall team: 4-4-2: Archer; Romeo, Webster, Craig, Martin; Onyedinma, Butcher, Williams, Thompson; Gregory, Morison.

Match odds:

Millwall 21/20 Draw 12/5 Bolton 5/2

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly