Preview: Millwall vs. Swindon

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL will be missing Jimmy Abdou and Ed Upson for the visit of struggling Swindon to The Den this Saturday.

Both are long-term absentees and it is a blow to manager Neil Harris as his squad faces into an October run of fixtures that offers an enticing chance to climb up the table.

Four of the five clubs they play in the next 15 days are currently below them in the league.

After the last international break Millwall won four of their next seven games and Harris will be hoping they can up those performance levels another notch for the rest of this month.

If they do that then it would leave them in or close to the play-off spots and full of confidence going into the busy winter period.

While there are worries about the lack of depth in midfield, Sid Nelson and Joe Martin are back to boost options in defence.

Carlos Edwards will return after being rested for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Northampton, while Byron Webster and Mark Beevers should resume their partnership in the centre of Millwall’s defence.

Shane Ferguson returned from international duty early in the week, with Shaun Cummings and David Forde arriving a little later.

George Saville could start his second game in a row since his loan switch from Wolves to partner Shaun Williams, back from suspension, in midfield.

Steve Morison and Aiden O’Brien have struck up a good understanding up front and will pose a danger to Mark Cooper’s injury-hit Robins.

The Swindon boss could be missing up to 12 first-team regulars for the clash, and Jermaine Hylton and Jon Obika were the latest players to head to the treatment room this week.

Cooper, though, wasn’t letting the injury crisis get him down, joking that in training it’s currently “two-a-side”.

He added: “It's difficult to get any tempo in training. We don't want any more (injuries), but we cannot keep crying about it. We have to get on with it and try and get a team on the field.”

To add to his injury concerns summer signing Jordan Stewart went back to Northern Ireland a fortnight ago because of homesickness, but he returned this week and Cooper could call on him at The Den.

Cooper oversaw a summer of sweeping changes to his squad following their failure to gain promotion to the Championship when Swindon lost 4-0 to Preston in the League One play-off final.

He has signed 19 players either permanently or on loan this season, but has yet to find the right blend for a side currently in 19th place in League One, though they are only two points behind their opponents this weekend.

Form guide (last five league games):

Millwall: WLWDL

Swindon: LLDLL

Sky Bet odds:

Millwall 4/5  Draw 11/4  Swindon 16/5

Probable Millwall team:

Archer; Edwards, Webster, Beevers, Craig; Onyedinma, Williams, Saville, Ferguson; Morison, O’Brien.

This is the first meeting between the sides since the 2010 League One play-off final: