Yeovil Town take on Millwall at Huish Park tomorrow as they continue their attempts to stretch the top five positions in League One away from the chasing pack. The Glovers lie in 5th place in League One, but with a four point cushion currently separating them and 6th placed Swansea City. With leaders Scunthorpe United playing Bristol City on Monday, at least one side in the top five will drop points this weekend and with only one point separating the four clubs below Scunny, that makes matters all the more tightly poised.
Their visitors Millwall had been expected to be up that end of the table when the bookies made their pre-seaon predictions, but a horror start by the South-East London side to their season that saw them occupy the bottom slot at one stage has seen them have to fight a very different battle so far. Currently in 19th place, and four points away from the drop-zone, the Lions have stabilised somewhat in recent months, but two defeats in their last two matches have shown that they are not yet out of danger, despite having preceded those losses with a run of four straight wins.
Millwall see two of their players serve suspensions tomorrow with defender Richard Shaw banned for picking up his fifth yellow card of the season, whilst Alan Dunne serves the second of a three game ban. However, striker Darren Byfield returns to the side after his suspension was served. Mark Phillips is being predicted to take Shaw's position in the centre of defence.
Like the Glovers, Millwall could be giving their debut to a player who was on Stoke City's books last week. Midfielder Dave Brammer signed for them earlier this week and is expected to travel down with the squad for tomorrow's match. Chris Hackett and Tom Brighton also represent wide options for manager Willie Donachie after they were declared fit, although Donachie implies that neither will play a significant part tomorrow:
"It is great to have Chris back, but, like Tom, he also needs more training and more games to get fit."
It is this midfield area that is proving to be the more difficult to predict in terms of Millwall's team selection with competition so tight that former Chelsea player Jody Morris has been told to go and find another club for a loan deal, rather than be rushed back following his lengthy layoff this season.
The Glovers add wingers Peter Sweeney and Martin Brittain to their squad, and it is likely that both will be in the sixteen for tomorrow's match. Striker Lee Morris and defender Anthony Tonkin are also fit again, and will come into contention. However, midfielder Anthony Barry is out after damaging medial knee ligaments on the training ground this week and is expected to be absent for two weeks. There is also extreme doubt about club captain Terry Skiverton, who has not fully trained this week having suffered from a virus. Speaking to the Western Daily Press manager Russell Slade explained:
"Terry did a little bit of running on Wednesday but he missed training again today and is a massive doubt for the game now."
Long term absentees Paul Terry and Mark Lynch are of course ruled out. If Skivo does not make the match, then expect Scott Guyett to slide into the back line, whilst Barry's absence will be catered for by bringing Chris Cohen into a more central role alongside Jean-Paul Kalala. The rest of the line-up very much depends upon the formation Slade uses, with Morris, Sweeney and Brittain all able to slot into various positions and roles alongside Arron Davies, Marcus Stewart and Leon Best.
The last match between the two sides was on the opening day of the season when a Wayne Gray goal opened up Yeovil's League One campaign, with a second half Darren Byfield goal producing a 1-1 scoreline.
Note that this match was originally designated as a "Premium Priced" match, but during the season the club downgraded it to standard matchday pricing. Tickets are therefore available on the day in accordance with the usual matchday rules.
Link: August 2006 : Millwall 1 Yeovil Town 1.
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