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Championship preview: Millwall vs. Sheffield United

JED Wallace is back for this crucial clash with Sheffield United – but Conor McLaughlin serves a one-match ban after collecting five yellow cards this season.

Wallace has missed the last three games through suspension after his red card against Burton, and will likely go straight back into Neil Harris’ starting line-up.

Mahlon Romeo should make his full Championship debut, his first start in a regular league fixture since last April after just two EFL Cup games and an 89th-minute substitute appearance at Preston.

Boss Harris must also decide whether to recall Lee Gregory to his starting line-up or continue with Steve Morison and Tom Elliott as his front partnership.

Millwall have defeated Sheffield United in both their fixtures at The Den under Harris, 1-0 in March 2016 and 2-1 in August last year.

But the Blades have lost just nine league games out of 61 since that latter result, and are currently third in the table, three points off Cardiff in second.

Boss Chris Wilder felt the reaction to only drawing 1-1 at home to Birmingham last weekend, when Leon Clarke rescued a point with his 13th goal of the season, shows their expectation levels.

“How far we’ve come, I don’t want it to stop and I don’t think the players want it to stop,” he said. “If you walked into that dressing room, there’s a lot of really disappointed players in there. They can be disappointed a bit but nobody else can because of the way they’ve tried to drive it forward.

"I don’t think it will stop with the way they are playing. Consistently, they are producing some really good performances in a tough division. Results will follow if they keep the standards as high as they are.”

In contrast to Millwall, Saturday’s opponents have a striker in Clarke in some of the best goal-scoring form of his life. Clarke, 32, played for 16 different clubs before United, but Wilder seems to be finding a way to get the best out of him.

Clarke has scored nine times in his last four games, three times as many as Millwall’s three main strikers have scored from play in the league this season.

Only Wolves have scored more league goals that the Blades in this campaign, and midfielder John Lundstram believes Clarke epitomises the team ethic.

“We all work incredibly hard and none more so than Leon,” Lundstram said “He’s putting in the miles, running his socks off right until the last minute. But it’s not just the work, his technique is superb.”

Sheffield United will be without long-term injury absentee Paul Coutts after his recent leg-break against Burton.

Shaun Williams is back in training but won’t be available for the first team until just before Christmas.

Millwall are looking for a first win in seven games at the weekend, and will be slightly worried that Birmingham and Sunderland below them are showing signs of improvement under new managers.

Defeat on Saturday would drop them another place in the table, but a win could boost them to 16th.

Form guide

Millwall: LLDDL

Sheffield United: LWWLD

Millwall record against Sheffield United

Played 52

Won 22 Drew 8 Lost 22

Possible teams

Millwall: 4-4-2: Archer; Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper, Meredith; Wallace, Tunnicliffe, Saville, O’Brien; Gregory, Morison.

Sheffield United: 3-5-2: Blackman; Carter-Vickers, Wright, O'Connell; Basham, Lundstram, Duffy, Fleck, Stevens; Clarke, Sharp.

Match odds

Millwall 19/10 Draw 12/5 Sheffield United 7/5

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)