Tomorrow sees us step up our pre-season with another game in the space of 5 days. Typically your first game of pre season is about getting minutes in for the players, with the games after you start to see partnerships form and as a fan, you get an idea of what team will start the season on the 8th of August. What centre back pairing will Harris go for? Which set of wingers? Who is in the middle? And importantly, who’s going to score the goals up top? It’s what makes pre-season enjoyable as fans, we all have opinions on what our best XI is, and with this brings optimism as to how we will do this season. Harris will take similar numbers as to Tuesday night, but has eluded to players getting 60-75 minutes at Wimbledon.
Saturday will prove to be a more difficult task for the side, playing against a league two team whereas Tuesday was a Conference South team last season. Players will get more playing time, and hopefully come through injury free. Sadly, the last time we travelled to Kingsmeadow was in 2010 when Shaun Batt picked up his injury, which kept him out for 2 seasons. A huge shame as he had played a big part of our play off triumph and never quite looked the same when he returned. That sort of injury rarely occurs, however the chances of injuries does run through a managers head, which is why Gregory, Martin and Powell weren’t risked the other night. Hopefully we can see all three get 45 minutes under their belts and step up their own preparation for the season. Playing catch up during pre-season is not what anyone would hope for, and we want all our players fully fit and firing for Shrewsbury. With what I mentioned above already, I’d like to see Harris start to look at who he will play in the team when we travel to Shrewsbury, can Nelson and Craig do a job together at the back? With Craig being left footed and Nelson right, and both more mobile than Webster and Beevers it can be the dream partnership we hope for. Harris has made it clear he wants to put a team out there to make us fans proud of, and I’m sure he is aware that having two Millwall fans in the heart of the defence will bring huge backing to the side.
This is the XI I’d go with tomorrow, based on who played Tuesday along with players coming back from injury:
With Forde back in the picture it would do no harm at least letting him prove he should be the number one. Archer looks a good keeper, however League One presents different challenges and if given the choice Forde would be my number one, at least for the start of the season. Twardek impressed hugely on Tuesday and was singled out by Harris who praised both him and Fred, with Twardek favouring the left hand side it could be interesting to see how both Twardek and Fred could complement each other. With Lee Martin and Jack Powell to still come back in, it would be interesting to see who Harris chooses in the midfield, Powell has tonnes of potential as we’ve seen but can he get in the XI in front of Abdou, Upson and Williams? Especially with only 2 of these able to play in the middle, Upson showed versatility last season, but also impressed in his 45 minute spell on Tuesday night. It’s likely Gregory and Cowan-Hall won’t play a part tomorrow, instead with a view to Stevenage the week after. Due to this I’d play Marquis and O’Brien again, if they both manage to hit form they also have the ability to assist each other. Marquis can win headers and O’Brien looks a quicker and more composed player than before, with great ability to run at speed with the ball at his feet. However, what both have against them is their goal returns, but being pre-season it does no harm to give each a chance to impress.
What XI would you like to see tomorrow? Leave a comment below!