League One preview: Charlton Athletic vs. Millwall

WHILE Neil Harris could name the same Millwall side that started in the 3-1 win over Charlton Athletic at The Den on December 21, the Addicks will be much changed from that defeat.

Charlton boss Karl Robinson has lost £11million Ademola Lookman to Everton and left-back Morgan Fox has joined Sheffield Wednesday.

Robinson has been busy reinvesting those funds, replacing Fox with Lewis Page on a permanent deal from West Ham. Midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey has also joined from Brighton.

Full-back Kevin Foley, who was on the bench at The Den, has left for Coventry City. Robinson has secured Nathan Byrne and Jay Dasilva on loan deals from Wigan and Chelsea, respectively.

Meanwhile Tony Watt, who once scored the winner for Celtic in a Champions League group game against Barcelona, was brought back from a loan spell at Hearts.

Robinson is a big fan of Watt, but the striker has work to do to impress his boss. “What is going to happen with Tony Watt is that he is going to come in and I'm going to run the legs off of him,” Robinson said earlier this month.

“I'm going to make him sweat, make him cry and I want to see whether he has got the desire to play for me and this club.

“That is the top and bottom of it. There have been a lot of questions about Tony, his mentality and desire, but no-one in this football world has ever questioned his talent.”

If Harris keeps the same side it will be the sixth successive game he hasn’t made any changes to his starting XI.

Millwall have won four and drawn one of their last five fixtures, including the 3-0 FA Cup third-round win over AFC Bournemouth last weekend, but Harris is calling for an improvement on their last league game, the 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon on January 2.

“As we found last year in the latter stages of the Football League Trophy, for example, you have to be able to separate the two, league and cup,” Harris said. “You have to isolate games. What we had to do was isolate that Bournemouth fixture and look at it for what it was, an outstanding performance and a really good result in a cracking atmosphere. But we leave that and move on to the next one.

“That’s why after the game I said to the players, ‘Brilliant, well done today, but now we focus on Charlton. You enjoy tonight and the praise that goes with it, I’ll focus on Charlton and when we come back into work on Monday and Tuesday we’re right down the line with preparations.’

“Saturday is the biggest game of the season. We put in an outstanding display and a completely dominant display against Charlton at The Den. We have to put in the same level of performance as we put in against Bournemouth, Gillingham, Swindon and certainly be better than we were in our last league outing against Wimbledon.”

Millwall record against Charlton

Played 73

Won 35 Drawn 26 Lost 12

League One form guide:

Charlton: LLWDW

Millwall: WWWDW

Probable Millwall team:

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

Match odds:

Charlton 9/5 Draw 23/10 Millwall 6/4

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly