On Friday 4th August Forest raise the curtain for their 2017-2018 Championship campaign against newly promoted Millwall. One would be foolish to think that this will be a game in which we will easily dismantle the opposition. If we rewind one year, Forest took on newly promoted Burton Albion and only just edged the game 4-3. One could argue that we did not show Burton Albion enough respect and that almost cost us dear on the opening game of the season. We must treat the game against Millwall as if it is against one of the big boys in the league, such as Sunderland or Aston Villa, otherwise it could be a very long and tough ninety minutes on Friday. Forest must go into this game realising this is a game that can set the tone for the rest of the season and hopefully the beginning of our journey back to the Promised Land.
The opposition: Millwall F.C.
Manager: Neil Harris
2016-2017: 6th Sky Bet League 1 (promoted via play offs).
Head to Head Record with Forest: Forest have won 21 meetings, Millwall have won 24 meetings, with 20 draws.
Last Meeting: 23/08/2016 – Millwall 1-2 Forest (Capital One Cup).
Millwall’s Last Five Results (Pre Season): PL5, W1, D3, L1
Transfers In Summer 2017: Jake Cooper (Reading), Tom Elliot (AFC Wimbledon), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), George Saville (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Ryan Tunnicliffe (Fulham).
What style of football do Millwall play?
The newly promoted Lions will prove a tough test for Mark Warbutton’s new look Forest side. In terms of style of play Neil Harris has his side playing in an aggressive and direct manner. Millwall aren’t blessed with the most naturally gifted players in the Championship but they will look to use their players’ size to their advantage and try and break up any rhythm or flow of football Forest create. They will look to knock the ball long to Steve Morison and Lee Gregory and attempt to win the game off scraps.
Ones to Watch?
Lee Gregory and Steve Morison notched up 35 goals between them last season in League 1 and therefore this is a duo that Mark Warbutton must deal with. If these two are allowed to knock the ball down to one another this could cause Forest some problems as they are proven goal scorers.
George Saville is a new signing from Wolves and if given the chance will look to dictate and pull the strings for the Lions. If we can cut off Saville from the game and then perhaps we could leave Millwall looking rather toothless.
What is their Away Record Like?
Forest should be encouraged by Millwall’s away record last season, as frankly it was very poor. Millwall only won seven games away from home last season in League 1 and were known to be relatively slow off the mark when playing away. Forest should look to rattle and put the pressure on the traveling side in front of what looks like a sold out City Ground.
Likely Line up from Millwall?
Archer (GK), McLaughlin, Webster, Hutchinson, Meredith; Wallace, Saville, Williams, O’Brien, Gregory, Morison. (4-4-2).
What do the Bookies Say?
Bet365 has Forest priced as favourites to win this game. Forest are priced at 19/10 to win, 5/2 to draw, and 14/5 for Millwall to leave with all three points.
Forest to win 2-0 (Goals from Brereton and Clough) and lay a marker down for the coming season.