Championship preview: Middlesbrough vs. Millwall

TIM Cahill starts his three-match ban for his elbow on Ryan Fredericks but will travel with the squad to The Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Cahill’s absence means Lions boss Neil Harris has a decision to make who to add to his match-day 18, with Conor McLaughlin, Shane Ferguson and Harry Toffolo in contention.

The Lions need to win to move level on points with Middlesbrough going into the last day of the season. A defeat to Tony Pulis’ side combined with Derby getting a draw at Aston Villa would effectively end Millwall’s play-off chances.



Middlesbrough were ninth when Pulis lost his first game in charge, 1-0 against Villa on December 30. Like Harris before last Friday’s clash with Fulham, Pulis is urging the home fans to create a “cup-tie atmosphere”.

“We need the roof to come off because it is a great help for the players and it would be fantastic,” he told local media.

“It’s what I want, a hostile place, that atmosphere, everyone wants it. The players want to really feel that togetherness. Especially when we are under pressure a little bit, it’s brilliant when things are going well.



“The supporters must turn up and get behind the team and we have to make it that kind of cup-tie atmosphere. They have been fantastic since I came here, the reaction at Derby was first class for 90 mins. We need that at home too. We need their support and togetherness. Hopefully that will galvanise us.”

Pulis has a wealth of attacking options. Patrick Bamford missed last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Derby but is available this weekend.

Pulis said: “There are no two games the same, I have never managed two games the same. Saturday is fresh and the lads have to recognise unless we go out and work very hard then Millwall will take advantage. It’s a really tough game. You have to approach in right manner.”

Form guide

Middlesbrough: LDWLWW (eighth)

Millwall: WDWWDL (sixth)

Millwall record against Middlesbrough

Played

Won 19 Drew 11 Lost 22

Possible Millwall line-up

4-4-2: Archer; Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper, Meredith; Wallace, Saville, Williams, Marshall; Gregory, Morison.

Match odds

Middlesbrough 1/1 Draw 9/4 Millwall 11/4

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)