PREVIEW: Stoke City vs. Millwall

JAKE Cooper insists Millwall will play with “freedom” this weekend at Stoke and believes they will “thrive” in the pressure of the busy Christmas period.

The Lions face one of the pre-season promotion favourites before home games against Reading and Nottingham Forest.

Cooper feels his side have “nothing to lose” at the Brittania Stadium.

“Not many of us have played at Stoke so it will be a great occasion for us,” Cooper said. “We know they’re the ones we can back ourselves in and we’ve got nothing to lose going there. We can play our own game with a bit of freedom and see if we can come up with a result.

“I think there is a bit of history with Stoke. It’s great when we go away and there is that support for us, we love it. We love playing for the fans.

“I hope they see our good performances. They may not be happy with the results at the moment but we know if we keep putting in performances like we have done then results will follow.

“This Christmas period in English football is always going to be busy. It’s one that we’ll thrive off. We’ve got some massive games and that starts with Stoke.

“That’s our target now and we’re going to do everything we can to get something out of that.”

Millwall are without Tom Bradshaw and Shaun Williams, but should have every other member of the squad fit.

Stoke are unbeaten in nine games and have Nigeria international midfielder Peter Etebo available after suspension. Defender Tom Edwards is also pushing for a return.

Possible Millwall team:

4-4-2: Archer; Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper, Ferguson; J Wallace, Leonard, Tunnicliffe, O’Brien; Morison, Gregory.

Match odds:

Stoke 8/15 Draw 12/5 Millwall 7/2

Last meeting:

FA Cup third round (2007): Stoke 2-0 Millwall

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly