NEWSATDEN looks at all 23 of Millwall’s Championship opponents ahead of the new season.
Next up, Lucas Ball casts an eye over newly-relegated Middlesbrough
Manager: Garry Monk
Stadium: Riverside Stadium (34,742)
Club website: www.mfc.co.uk
Nearest train station: Middlesbrough
Postcode: TS3 6RS
Title odds (Sky Bet): 7/1
Last meeting: Championship – Middlesbrough 3-0 Millwall (March 3, 2015-Riverside Stadium)
Position: 19th in Premier League (relegated)
Goals for: 27
Goals against: 53
Top league goal scorer: Alvaro Negredo (10)
Ins: Britt Assombalonga (£14.54mil); Martin Braithwaite (£9.61mil); Jonny Howson (£4.8mil); Cyrus Christie (£2.38mil); Connor Roberts (loan)
Outs: Jordan Rhodes (£9.95mil); Bernardo Espinosa (£3.83mil); Viktor Fischer (£2.55mil); James Husband (£961k); Brad Guzan (free); Antonio Barragan (loan); Julian de Sart (loan); Victor Valdes (released)
Middlesbrough made a big statement this week when they smashed their nine-year-old transfer record (£12.7million for Afonso Alves) to sign Britt Assombalonga from Nottingham Forest for almost £15million. Assombalonga scored 30 goals in 47 league starts in two seasons with Forest and will fill the gap left by Alvaro Negredo, who returned to Valencia after his one-year loan deal ended.
After scoring just 27 league goals last season as they were relegated from the Premier League, Monk is determined they won’t be goal-shy next season. Boro have also bought Danish international striker Martin Braithwaite from French top-flight side Toulouse for close to £10million. Braithwaite scored 35 goals in 118 league starts for Toulouse in four seasons, and has played 16 times for his country.
Experienced midfielder Jonny Howson arrived from Norwich City, while Monk went back to his former club Swansea to sign defender Connor Roberts on loan.
Boro also signed Republic of Ireland international right-back Cyrus Christie from Championship rivals Derby County.
Monk will hope the club can keep hold of Ben Gibson and Marten de Roon, two of the few players to emerge with any credit from a miserable 2016-17 campaign. The retention of Adama Traore and George Friend for next season will also boost Boro’s promotion hopes.
Millwall vs. Middlesbrough (Saturday, December 16, 2017)
Middlesbrough vs. Millwall (Saturday, April 28, 2018)