Match Preview | Millwall vs. Cardiff City
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
Millwall’s current head coach is experienced Championship manager Gary Rowett, who has been in the position since October 2019.
Rowett was established in the EFL during his playing days, representing the likes of Derby County, Birmingham City, Leicester City, Charlton and Burton Albion.
Making the switch to management in March 2012, Rowett replaced the departing Paul Peschisolido at Burton Albion, going on to lead the Brewers to the play-offs in League Two in both of his opening two seasons.
Similar to his start at Burton Albion, Rowett made a positive impact at his next club, Birmingham City, taking the club from 21st in the Championship to 10th in his first season.
Going on to manage Derby County, Rowett guided the Rams to the Championship play-offs in dramatic fashion in the 2017/18 season, securing a sixth placed finish on the final day of the campaign.
After a nine-month spell at Stoke City, the head coach of Saturday’s opponents made the switch to the Den in 2019.
So far this season, the Lions have recorded two wins, a draw and four losses, with their most recent defeat coming in midweek against Burnley.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | SUMMER SIGNINGS
Rowett has looked to strengthen and add depth to his squad this summer, making seven new additions.
Leeds United prospects Charlie Cresswell and Jamie Shackleton have both joined on season-long loans from the Premier League outfit, while goalkeeper Connal Trueman made the switch following the expiration of his contract at Birmingham City.
Rowett has also looked to add creativity to his lineup, with two playmakers coming in at The Den. Energetic midfielder George Honeyman has joined from Hull City, while the Lions’ marquee signing is Dutch midfielder Zian Flemming, who signed from Fortuna Sittard.
Experienced strikers have also joined Millwall this summer, with Benik Afobe's loan from Stoke City becoming permanent and Andreas Voglsammer arriving from Bundesliga side Union Berlin. Between them last season, the Lions’ striking recruits scored 14 league goals.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYERS
Millwall have been a real danger in the air under Rowett, which means the delivery from former Bluebird Scott Malone is key. The left-back has recorded two assists so far this season, with both coming in their victories over Stoke City and Coventry City.
With Malone’s dangerous crosses, defender Jake Cooper is a threat and proved his worth in the win over the Sky Blues, converting clinically from Malone’s delivery into the box. Since joining the club in 2017, Cooper has 19 league goals, showing his ability in both boxes.
New signing Honeyman looks to be an astute signing for Rowett, as the playmaker showed great energy during his time at both Sunderland and Hull City. With the height in Millwall’s squad, his ability to deliver into the box is also a threat for the Lions.
CLUB CONNECTIONS | LIONS & BLUEBIRDS
City boss Steve Morison will be facing his former side this weekend, for whom he netted 67 goals in 252 league appearances over two spells. The former Lions striker enjoyed a productive time for Saturday’s opponents, winning the League One play-offs in 2010 and 2017.
One of Morison’s teammates during his time at The Den was current City right-back Mahlon Romeo, who has made a positive start to life in the Welsh capital since joining the Bluebirds on a three-year deal this summer.
Defender Mark Kennedy’s first club in the professional game was Millwall, going on to make 43 league appearances for the Lions prior to his move to Liverpool. Enjoying a two-year spell at City between 2008 and 2010, the former Republic of Ireland international established himself as a dependable member of the squad during his time at the club.
Striker Kenneth Zohore is another to represent both clubs, having played a huge part in City’s promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2017/18 season. Making the switch to West Bromwich Albion in 2019, the Danish attacker scored two league goals during recent loan spell at Millwall.
Former City manager Neil Harris managed and played for both clubs. Having represented the Lions in two spells, Harris made over 300 league appearances for the Lions, before managing the club between 2015 and 2019. During his time in the Welsh capital, Harris guided City to a fifth placed finish to secure a play-off spot in his first season.