Tonight Millwall travel to London Road, or as is the modern day sponsorship The ABAX Stadium, as we take on Peterborough United.
Known for their ‘Value for money’ football, they’re a side who you expect to be a constant threat in attack, however leaky in defence. Having suffered defeat the last time we travelled to Peterborough in a 5-3 defeat, Neil Harris and co. will be keen to avenge that result.
With summer additions and a lot of change at Peterborough since we last played each other, here is the low down of our opposition…
A win and a defeat so far in the league, Peterborough haven’t had the perfect start they would’ve hoped for. Having picked up a 3-2 win away at Rochdale, fans were hoping the team would follow that up with a win at home to Bradford. Instead, they suffered a single goal defeat in new manager Grant McCann’s first home game in charge.
In between their league games, Peterborough also progressed in the cup with another high scoring game against Wimbledon. Two 3-2 wins and a 1-0 defeat last time out, what to expect tonight? God only knows…
Despite being the home team last time out against Bradford, The Posh finished the match with 45% possession, with nearly 20 counter attacks registered despite being the home team. Much like our side in that respect, despite still being early days into McCann’s reign, they seem to be a side who look to sit back and break at pace.
Having come against MK Dons last time out and being done by their forward lines ability to break on the counter, it will be interesting to see how we deal with Peterborough for the 90 minutes. Having controlled the game in the second half by chasing after MK Dons, I expect Harris to instruct the players to follow suit next time out.
Despite not having much of the ball, Peterborough still manage to complete 400+ passes a match, this is due to their nature of building from the back. Unlike the modern style of keeping possession, expect Peterborough to get hold of the ball and pass around at speed looking for a breakthrough past our midfield of Thompson and Abdou.
Having lost last time out against Bradford at home, it would be anticipated a change or two is likely from manager Grant McCann. Having looked at the starting XI’s from their opening three games, I don’t anticipate any changes to the backline, however a change of players up top could be possible.
In goal, having been on the books of Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur is Alnwick. In front of the keeper in defence is Baldwin and make shift central defender Bostwick, more known for his ability in midfield and picking a pass from deep, also once on our books as youth scholar. Expect both full backs Binnom-Williams and White to commit forward on the overlap and provide an outlet in the wide areas.
In a midfield three, expect movement box to box from all of the midfielders, with Forrester the deep lying player to pick out a pass, with Lopes and Edwards your ball carriers when moving up the field.
Finally, up front expect another trio of Maddison, Taylor, and Nichols. None of which are your physical target men options, instead expect none stop movement and change of positions in the attacking areas.
The main threats in this side come up top, with Nichols, Taylor and Maddison all live wires in attack, with each having an eye for goal. Maddison finished last season with 13 goals, whereas Nichols, a January signing from League Two Exeter still getting on his feet at this level, but has scored two in the cup already.
Aside from the attackers, it’s important we don’t give the likes of Forrester time on the ball to pick a pass, a player when afforded time can punish any opposition.
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
The obvious strength in the Peterborough side is their attacking style of play, with goals in their forward line. Peterborough also provide a threat in the wide areas with their full backs constantly getting forward and looking to provide assists for the forwards in the box.
With that in mind, how are Millwall going to get a result we all want tonight? Well with our own ability in the wide areas, expect the likes of Worrall and O’Brien to peg back the full backs, and if they happen to commit forward on the break expect some joy in these areas.
Another possible weakness is their lack of protection to their central defenders, with no obvious ball winner in midfielder or someone to sit in front of defence. If Morison and Gregory turn up and beat their markers man for man, we should come out with the desired result of a victory.