Johnstone's Paint Trophy Preview: Plymouth vs. Millwall

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

DESPITE missing a host of players, Millwall boss Neil Harris could still pick a side close to his first-choice XI for Tuesday night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area quarter-final clash at Plymouth.

Ed Upson returned to training this week but Harris will have to do without the midfielder as well as Jimmy Abdou, Tony Craig and Sid Nelson, who are all injured.

David Forde, Shaun Cummings and Shane Ferguson are also unavailable as they are away on international duty.

On a more positive note, on-loan Wolves midfielder George Saville is back in contention after he wasn’t given permission to play in the FA Cup first round win over Fylde on Saturday.

The Lions are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions but Harris isn’t taking anything for granted against League Two’s best side.

He said: “I played down there a few times. It’s a great place to play football, it’s a great football town. It’s a team that’s on the rise. They had a terrific start to the season. We’ve had them watched at various times and they’re a really good team.

“They’re a strong outfit so it’s going to be a really tough game, a good cup tie. We saw last Saturday with Fylde, they had a winning mentality that we had to match. And we’re playing a team on Tuesday that I’m pretty sure will be in League One next year.”

The JPT tie is Millwall's ninth game in five weeks but Harris believes not having to play next Saturday will mean all the focus is on tonight.

The Millwall manager hinted he could give some of the younger players a chance at Home Park, while Upson has been pencilled in for an Elite Development Squad fixture against Crystal Palace this week.

“Ed is back in the group,” Harris said. “He’s a great addition. His energy, his positivity is infectious. We’ll have to look at getting him some minutes in the U21s this week and hopefully have him back for Colchester.

“The players can play Saturday-Tuesday. It’s the Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday that’s the tough one. It’s another cup game and maybe it is another opportunity for some of the younger lads to play and get some good experience.”

Plymouth, meanwhile, lost 2-0 at home to Carlisle in the first round of the FA Cup on Saturday but are five points clear at the top of League Two.

The weekend setback was just their second defeat in 12 games and Pilgrims defender Kelvin Mellor is glad to quickly have the chance to try to get back to winning ways.

He told the club’s official website: “I think that (the fast turn-around) is a good thing, really. Just straight into the new game, it's 0-0 so we will just keep going.

“It’s against a decent opposition – they’re a league above us – so it’ll be a test, but hopefully things stay together and we can get the result.”

Form guide (Last five games):

Plymouth: WLWWL

Millwall: DWWDW

Match odds:

Plymouth 2/1  Draw 12/5  Millwall 13/10

Probable Millwall team:

4-4-2: Archer; Edwards, Webster, Beevers, J Martin; Onyedinma, Williams, Saville, O’Brien; Gregory, Morison.

John Kelly