Millwall went into the second international break sitting in a healthy mid-table spot – what’s your take on the first 11 games?
I’ve spoken to Neil Harris and he thought maybe they’d have a point more – they set points targets at various stages – but I think they’ve done very well this season. I didn’t really know how they’d make the step up, but they added some real talent to the squad in the summer which has improved the team. I thought they’d struggle, but it’s been a very positive start and the performances have been so much better than last year. They were caught a bit flat against Barnsley last time out, but they’ve beaten Norwich City, Reading and Leeds United already and shown that they can really compete at this level.
A man who played an integral role in Brentford’s promotion to the Championship, George Saville is no stranger to Griffin Park; he’s been something of a revelation at the Den hasn’t he?
He was on loan at Millwall for a short time in 2013/14 before he joined Brentford and then again in 2015/16 – he looked like a quality player, but he faded towards the end of that loan. This year he’s come in for good and he’s been absolutely superb. He’s got a great engine and already has four goals, but I think he should be aiming for at least ten. He’s another confident, aggressive player and a leader in the team who knows he can make an impact. His form has resulted in a call-up to the Northern Ireland squad and everyone at the club will be hoping he can avoid injury, especially with Williams out long-term.
What can Brentford expect in terms of the way The Lions set up?
It’ll be 4-4-2 with a direct, aggressive style. They play with two centre-forwards – most likely Steve Morison and Lee Gregory - but they’ve only got two goals between them; Morison hasn’t scored since the Play-Off Final which is a bit of a worry. Millwall will try to get the ball forward quickly and then pin Brentford in if they can. When Brentford are on the ball, they will drop deep and the two banks of four will stay close together and there shouldn’t be much space at all. It’ll be a more traditional approach; Brentford will have most of the possession, Millwall will look to break and then pin Brentford in with corners and free-kicks.
If you could add one Brentford player to Neil Harris’ ranks, who would it be?
Millwall are very specific in what they want in a player. In his first season, Harris wanted strikers that were over six-foot tall, he wants players that will not shirk a tackle and someone who can handle the pressure of playing at The Den. I see Ollie Watkins has five goals already and Millwall are lacking somebody who can score those goals, so he’s the sort of player they might need.
What’s your score prediction for the game?
Brentford 1-2 Millwall
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