League One preview: Millwall vs. Charlton Athletic

MILLWALL are close to full strength for the south London derby against Charlton on Wednesday, though Shaun Hutchinson, Steve Morison and Byron Webster are not certain to start.

Webster is the biggest doubt, rated “50/50” to be ready by Lions boss Neil Harris. If Hutchinson and Morison come through training on Tuesday they should be available.

Harry Smith could return after a bereavement meant he missed the 3-0 defeat to Scunthorpe last Saturday.

Harris indicated he could make changes to his side after that loss.

“Anybody that didn’t play on Saturday will be entitled to be knocking on my door and it’s down to me to pick the right team,” Harris said.

“I’m pleased to have this game, and absolutely delighted to have Charlton at The Den. It couldn’t be any better for us.

“The worry is that we lost four games in a row in September and now we’ve lost three in a row, though the Checkatrade (against Wycombe) wasn’t an issue with a changed team losing in the last couple of minutes

“But it’s a little run of defeats again and it’s about putting it right and going the other way like we’ve done in the past. We’ve always come out of a run of defeats and gone win, win, win.

“You have to transition that as quickly as possible and that starts on Wednesday against Charlton. It’s a brilliant game for us, the fans will be up for it, it’s the Wednesday before Christmas and it’ll be a brilliant atmosphere. My players will be left in no uncertain terms what’s expected in this fixture.

“I’ll pick a team that will have the intensity and commitment, the aggression and desire that I expect."

Charlton haven’t beaten Millwall since 1996, but Addicks midfielder Andrew Crofts is determined to end that record.

“We know it’s over 20 years and if we are the team to do it then that would be brilliant,” he told the club’s official website. “We obviously play them again in January but Wednesday is massive.

“I want to be involved in the team that beats Millwall and everyone in that changing room is exactly the same.

"We’ve got to channel the disappointment of Saturday’s defeat in the right way and go into Wednesday ready to give it everything we have got.”

“I love derby games. As a player, they are what you want to play in and every fan that is going on Wednesday will want us to give absolutely everything we have got.

“I loving talking to the young players about things like this. I said when I signed here that I have been really impressed with them. They have got big, bright futures and for a few of them Wednesday will be their first taste of a big derby.

“They’ll be needing that help, we’re all together, we’ve got a real good group of lads and we all want to put things right on Wednesday.”

Form guide:

Millwall: WWLLL

Charlton: DDDLL

Match odds:

Millwall 1/1 Draw 12/5 Charlton 11/4

Probable Millwall team:

4-4-2: Archer; Romeo, Hutchinson, Craig, Ferguson; Onyedinma, Thompson, Williams, O’Brien; Gregory, Morison.

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly