Squad options increasing as Baggies face tricky Millwall trip

Millwall v West Bromwich Albion; The Den, Friday 29th March, 1pm

Albion have rarely found life easy on their trips to Millwall having recorded just five wins in 23 visits and only one since the Lions moved to their new stadium in 1993. That victory, in the midst of Storm Ciara not long before COVID-19 wreaked its only particular storm, was by a side full of confidence and Carlos Corberán’s team must be approaching that state of mind given their recent run of just one defeat in their last ten matches and five matches undefeated on the road.

Their confidence will be further boosted by the return to training of Matt Phillips and Josh Maja, although it is unclear at the time of writing whether either will be fit enough to feature on Friday. Phillips was in training before the international break so must have a decent chance of a place on the bench, but Maja is probably a week or so behind.

Of course, Phillips will have to battle his way past his young rivals for a place on the pitch with Mikey Johnston and Tom Fellows both in excellent form in recent weeks. We all hope that they both return from international duty unscathed having each featured for the Republic of Ireland and the England Young Lions respectively. The signing of Johnston certainly helped to plug the gap that Phillips’ injury in early December left, but another option will be welcome, particularly if the Scotland international can rediscover his early season form. Semi Ajayi and Andi Weimann were also in action for their countries with the Austrian netting in his side’s 2-0 win in Slovakia on Saturday and their safe returns will obviously be very welcome.

Albion skipper Jed Wallace will be hoping for a better personal performance against Millwall than he has achieved to date when facing his former club. The home fans were less than complimentary on his return to the New Den last season, so let’s hope that now he knows what to expect, he will put in the sort of performance that will make the Lions’ fans regret his departure even more.

Having endured a difficult season in the lower reaches of the Championship, Millwall have enjoyed something of a resurgence since the re-appointment of Neil Harris as manager. Starting with a 2-1 win at Southampton in his first match, the former striker picked up ten points in his first four games before suffering a first defeat at Leeds United last time out.

Harris is the Lion’s fourth manager of the season having parted company with Gary Rowett in October and Adam Barrett taking charge as four games as caretaker boss before Joe Edwards was appointed in early November for what was his first senior managerial position. A 4-0 win at Hillsborough in his first game was not a sign of things to come and he was sacked in February after just four wins in nineteen games left the Lions on the brink of the bottom three.

They now sit in 16th place but are only four points above the drop zone and, with sides below them also picking up points, Millwall are far from safe and will be desperate for points as we head into the last eight games of the season.

This will be another tough away trip but the Baggies have managed to emerge undefeated from their last five games on the road and another good result will help to keep their stranglehold on a top six spot.


Good Friday will see the 48th meeting between Albion and Millwall and it is the Lions who have the edge in the head-to-head statistics with 19 wins to the Baggies’ 15 in all competitions. Friday’s hosts are also unbeaten in the last five meetings between the sides with Albion’s last win coming at the New Den in February 2020 when Slaven Bilić’s team coped better with the wild conditions of Storm Ciara to take all three points thanks to goals from Filip Krovinović and Dara O’Shea.

That was only Albion’s fifth win away to Millwall and their only victory at the New Den which became the Lions’ home in 1993. Officially, the “New” moniker has been dropped from the stadium’s name but it’s a fairly soulless place and, in my mind, cannot live up to the name of The Den which conjures up a very different atmosphere.

The Baggies’ first victory at the Den on Cold Blow Lane came on their first ever visit when Joe Carter’s goal was enough to see them through to the second round of the FA Cup in 1924. Their first league win at Millwall was somewhat more convincing as Harry Jones (2), Ike Clarke, Sandy McNab and Sammy Heaselgrave were all on the scoresheet in a 5-1 victory for the visitors in 1938.

Albion won 2-1 on their next visit in October 1946 but would then have to wait more than four decades for another victory at the Den courtesy of Bobby Williamson’s goal in April 1987.

Millwall’s biggest home win over the Baggies came in 1990 when a Teddy Sheringham hat trick and another from Alex Rae saw them to a 4-1 victory, Colin West scoring Albion’s consolation.

Stat Attack

Current Form

Albion W D W D W W
Millwall L W W D W L

All competitions; most recent game on the right

Last matches

Last meeting

23 Sep 2023 – League Championship
West Bromwich Albion 0
Millwall 0

Last meeting at Millwall

22 Oct 2022 – League Championship
Millwall 2 (Styles, Burey)
West Bromwich Albion 1 (Swift)

Last win

9 Feb 2020 – League Championship
Millwall 0
West Bromwich Albion 2 (Krovinović, O’Shea)

Albion’s Record against Millwall

  Overall   Away
  P W D L F A   P W D L F A
League 41 12 13 16 50 53   20 4 5 11 23 32
FA Cup 1 1 0 0 1 0   1 1 0 0 1 0
League Cup 4 2 0 2 7 6   1 0 0 1 0 3
Other 1 0 0 1 0 2   1 0 0 1 0 2
Total 47 15 13 19 58 61   23 5 5 13 24 37

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