Mick McCarthy on the touchline at Oakwell...

Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Millwall

Match Previews

The Bluebirds are back in action at Cardiff City Stadium this weekend, taking on Millwall. Mick McCarthy faces the Lions in his first home match as Bluebirds’ boss, with a 3pm kick-off on Saturday, January 30th.

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Mick McCarthy hosted a pre-Millwall virtual press conference on Friday afternoon at The Vale Resort.

The new City boss hosts the Lions in his first home match in charge this Saturday. After managing against his hometown and the first club he ever played for on Wednesday at Barnsley, Mick now takes on the first side he ever managed at CCS for his second matchday.

“Millwall as a club is very close to my heart," Mick told the assembled press & media. “If I’m not playing against them then I want them to do well, but if I am playing against them, quite clearly I want to win.

“They’re a tough nut to crack. They've not been beaten too often. But I just want to win games, whoever they are against.

“I hope it is a blood and thunder game. They are more enjoyable. They are more entertaining."

Read more from Mick here! Watch his full press conference above or on Cardiff City TV!

Millwall boss Gary Rowett...
Opposition Focus: Season so far

After an excellent run of early season form which saw them reach 4th place in the table, Millwall have slowly slipped down the Championship standings, with a current position of 16th. Like the Bluebirds, the Lions have also recorded 30 points from their 25 league matches, but, with an inferior goal difference, sit directly below City in the table.

Gary Rowett’s men have been enduring a difficult spell of late, with just two victories from their past 17 Championship matches. Following a winless November, Millwall ended a run of ten games without victory by beating Bristol City on December 15th. Another four games without a win followed, before the Lions defeated Huddersfield Town on January 20th. On Tuesday, Rowett’s side held promotion-chasing Watford to a goalless draw, with neither side able to break the deadlock at The Den.

Millwall’s form at their south London home has been troubling this term; the Lions have recorded just one victory at The Den all season. That came back on October 20th against Luton Town, with six draws and three defeats from their subsequent fixtures on home soil. The Lions have looked far more promising on the road, and have kept four clean sheets during their five Championship victories away from home.

Kenneth Zohore in action for Millwall...
Opposition Focus: Winter window

With the January window closing in a matter of days, Gary Rowett will be looking to add to the solitary new recruit he has brought to The Den over the past few weeks. The Lions announced the signing of Maikel Kieftenbeld from Birmingham City on January 25th, with the midfielder once again linking up with Rowett, who had also brought him to St. Andrew’s back in 2015. The 30-year-old has wasted no time in getting straight into the action, making his Millwall debut against Watford earlier this week.

The Lions also agreed an extension to the loan agreement for Kenneth Zohore, which was due to expire this month. The Danish striker will be in familiar territory at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, having made over 100 appearances for the Bluebirds between 2016 and 2019. The 26-year-old, who is on loan at Millwall from West Bromwich Albion, has scored twice this term, and has led the line for Rowett’s men in three of their past four league matches.

One player has departed The Den this month; young defender James Brown joined Scottish Premiership side St Johnstone on January 4th. The 23-year-old has signed a loan agreement at McDiarmid Park, where former Millwall Assistant Manager, Callum Davidson, is the manager.

Former Bluebirds defender Scott Malone...
Opposition Focus: Ones to watch

Danny McNamara spent the first half of the campaign on loan at St Johnstone, but has become a mainstay in the Millwall starting eleven since being recalled on January 1st. The former Newport County loanee, who predominantly plays at right wing-back, has made four Championship appearances for the Lions in 2021, helping Rowett’s men keep consecutive clean sheets in their previous two league fixtures. The 22-year-old has also provided one assist, creating the winning goal against Huddersfield Town on January 20th.

Scott Malone was the man who benefitted from McNamara’s assist against the Terries, scoring his second goal of the season. The former Bluebird, who made 56 appearances in the Welsh capital, returned to Millwall during the summer transfer window, having previously played for the club between 2012 and 2015. Operating on the left flank, Malone has provided two assists this term, both of which came during the Lions’ victory over Boreham Wood in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Jake Cooper has been a regular starter for the Lions since his arrival at The Den in 2017, and has missed just one Championship match so far this season. The 25-year-old is usually deployed at the heart of Millwall’s back three, often with Alex Pearce and Shaun Hutchinson on either side. With a powerful aerial presence, Cooper will be hoping to improve his current tally of one goal and one assist this season; he got off the mark with a header against Barnsley back in October, and supplied Matt Smith for Millwall’s equaliser against AFC Bournemouth earlier this month.