Millwall will host Stoke City at The Den on the opening day of the Championship season with a kickoff at 5 pm on Saturday.
Millwall has finished in the top-half positions for three seasons running. They will be looking to make the next step into the playoffs this time around. However, losing talismanic figure Jed Wallace, who chipped in with 57 direct goal contributions across the last three campaigns, to West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer could prove a huge blow towards achieving those aspirations.
However, the Lions appear to have found a suitable replacement in the shape of Zian Flemming, who has joined from Fortuna Sittard for around £2.25m. The Dutchman bagged 12 goals in the last two Eredivisie seasons, suggesting that he can go some way to filling Wallace’s void.
Stoke City have finished in the bottom half in their four Championship campaigns since being relegated from the Premier League in 2018. Their parachute payments are gone now, so the Coates family has had to tighten the purse strings somewhat to avoid falling foul of the EFL’s strict financial fair play rules.
High earners such as Joe Allen, Tom Ince, James Chester, and Steven Fletcher left on free transfers this summer, with Dwight Gayle and Josh Laurent arriving permanently at the bet365 Stadium.
Millwall vs. Stoke City Head to Head
Both sides have eight games against each other, with hosts taking three wins while the visitors with two wins. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
- Millwall 1-1 Ipswich Town
- Millwall 0-0 Hammarby
- Colchester 0-1 Millwall
- Dartford 0-2 Millwall
- Hearts 2-1 Stoke City
- Bristol Rovers 2-0 Stoke City
- Accrington Stanley 2-0 Stoke City
- Cork City 0-2 Stoke City
Millwall Team News
Millwall, whose squad depth has prevented them from breaking into the top six in recent years, do not appear to have any major injury concerns heading into their weekend fixture. Much will be expected of striker Afobe, who bagged his side’s only goal in a 1-1 draw against Ipswich Town last weekend.
Stoke City Team News
Stoke’s Harry Souttar is expected to be out until at least November as he continues his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury. Sam Clucas and new signing Dwight Gayle both appeared from the bench in the Potters’ 2-1 defeat to Hearts last weekend, but manager Paul Lambert is likely to be keen to get both players on the pitch the start on Saturday.
Prediction and Odds
The Lions may finish higher than their forthcoming opponents this season, but there is little to split these sides on paper.
- Double Chance
- Goals Under 3.5