Championship preview: Bristol City vs. Millwall

NEIL Harris believes the pressure and expectation is on Bristol City this weekend.

Millwall head back to the city where they dramatically sealed a play-off place on the final day of last season, when Shaun Hutchinson headed home five minutes from time to secure a 4-3 win over Bristol Rovers.

Bristol City broke their transfer record this summer for the second time in two years, splashing out £5.3million on striker Famara Diedhiou from French side Angers.

Boss Lee Johnson also spent almost £2million on Niclas Eliasson, whom they recruited from Swedish club Norrköping.

Right-back Eros Pisano has experience playing in Serie A in Italy. He arrived from Hellas Verona this summer. Johnson also recruited defender Nathan Baker from Aston Villa.

On Thursday, they added another attacker to their squad with Cauley Woodrow joining on loan from Fulham. The England under-21 international scored five goals in 11 starts on loan at Burton Albion last season.

The Robins, who finished 17th in the Championship last season, started this campaign with a 3-1 win over Barnsley when Diedhiou got off the mark.

They followed that up by thrashing Plymouth 5-0 in the EFL Cup, before stumbling to a 2-1 defeat at Birmingham. On Tuesday, Bobby Reid’s third goal in four league games this season salvaged a 2-2 draw at Brentford in the eighth minute of injury-time.

“Lee Johnson is a young manager, and they were inconsistent last season, I think Lee would say that,” Harris said. “With the finances they’ve got and the players they’ve brought in they will be expected to be pushing near the top 10.

“It’s another tough away day, but we’re looking forward to going there. It’ll be a big crowd in a really nice stadium and it’s an opportunity for us to impose ourselves against one of the biggest-spending sides in the division.

“They have some fantastic individual players and any Lee Johnson side is going to be hard to beat. So we look forward to that challenge.”

Harris should have a fully fit squad to choose from for the fixture, and could have some tough selection decisions to make.

Harris was critical of his players after the 4-3 loss to Ipswich on Tuesday, and called Jordan Archer’s effort to keep out Joe Garner’s fourth-minute equaliser after Jed Wallace had put the Lions ahead “horrendous”.

Jake Cooper has been on the bench for the last two games, and could be recalled to start in the centre of Millwall’s defence.

Shane Ferguson set up three of Millwall’s four goals against Bristol Rovers last May, and he is excited about the trip back to the city.

“Last season was great. It was obviously nerve-wracking, it hadn’t gone the way we really wanted it, right down to the last five minutes,” he said.

“We got that goal and we knew from there we would kick on and do well in the play-offs.

“We’ve got great memories of going there. We’re all looking forward to it and hopefully to getting three points.”

Form guide

Bristol City: WWLD

Millwall: LWDL

Millwall record against Bristol City

Played 92

Won 29 Drew 29 Lost 34

Possible Millwall line-up

4-4-2: Archer; McLaughlin, Webster, Hutchinson, Meredith; Wallace, Saville, Williams, O'Brien; Gregory, Morison.

Match odds

Bristol City 19/20 Draw 13/5 Millwall 11/4

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly