Behind Enemy Lines: Stoke City

MILLWALL are back on the road for the first time since Boxing Day when they head to Stoke tomorrow afternoon.

The Lions haven't lost away from The Den since a 2-1 defeat at Reading in November, Gary Rowett's second game in charge. Since then Rowett's men have won at Swansea, Bristol City and Derby, and drawn at Cardiff.

Rowett is looking to lead Millwall to a league double over his former club for the first time since the 2002-03 season.



Alex Grace caught up with Potters fan Mike Hazledene this week.

Why do you support Stoke?

My Dad took me to a Stoke game when I was young with them being my local team – and I've been going ever since.



What has been your favourite season following the Potters?

The 2011-12 season. Stoke playing in Europe just didn't seem possible as a kid growing up and the whole season just seemed surreal.

Were you happy with the appointment of Michael O'Neil to take over from Nathan Jones, and have you seen an improvement since his arrival?

Indifferent, really. Stoke over the last 20 years been renowned for being loyal to managers so to go to appointing a third manager in under 18 months, I think most fans didn't know who we wanted at the time.

Yes, we seem to have gone back to basics and playing players in their proper places, though we still seem weak at the back.

The transfer window is now open – do you think Stoke need to strengthen and if so where?

Yes, we definitely need to strengthen after years of bad recruitment. A left-back and a couple of players with pace – a winger and a striker, preferably

What are your thoughts on Millwall manager Gary Rowett?

Good experienced Championship manager. Unlike most Stoke fans I liked him.

I think he made a few mistakes but he was straight with the fans in telling it how it was.

What have you made of Millwall's season to date?

Really good.

I thought you might struggle after the Neil Harris era, but Rowett seems to have got Millwall playing well.

If you could sign one Millwall player, who would it be and why?

Jed Wallace seems to be on fire at the moment and seems to be able to create a chance or score from nothing

Who will be your key men on Saturday?

Joe Allen has finally started to play himself into form and James McClean has become a real threat since O'Neill took charge

Will you be at the game?

Yes, I will be there on Saturday

What is your predicted Stoke starting line-up and formation?

I don't think it will change from the Huddersfield game after we scored five goals away from home.

4-2-3-1: Butland; Smith, Batth, Lindsay, Martins Indi; Allen, Clucas; Powell, Campbell, McClean; Vokes.

Potentially Ryan Shawcross if fit would come in.

Finally, a score prediction?

I'll say Stoke will scrape a 2-1 win.

Graphic: @jay_taylor18 

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)