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2 Millwall dilemmas facing Gary Rowett ahead of Stoke City clash

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Millwall host Stoke City at The Den this afternoon as the pair take their first steps in the 2022/23 Championship campaign. 

Both will harbour top six aspirations this season so today’s contest should offer an early assessment of where they stand.

It’s been a busy summer for Millwall, who lost talismanic attacker Jed Wallace but have made their ambition clear by bringing in some impressive new additions as they look to give Gary Rowett what he needs to launch a serious play-off challenge.

Three points against Stoke today would be the ideal start but as we close in on kick-off, Rowett will be facing a few dilemmas…

Whether to start Charlie Cresswell

One of two players signed on loan from Leeds United this summer, Charlie Cresswell has arrived as Dan Ballard’s replacement as the Lions were unable to bring him back from Arsenal after an impressive loan spell.

A young centre-back with a bright future ahead of him, Cresswell has rarely looked out of place when given a chance in the Whites’ first team and adds to Rowett’s options in what is a strong defensive unit.

Everyone is fit, which means the Millwall boss faces a selection dilemma in his back three.

Captain Shaun Hutchinson will surely play through the middle but Cresswell will be vying with Murray Wallace and Jake Cooper for a place in the starting XI.

Wallace and Cooper are reliable and trusted options so may well be just ahead of the Leeds loanee in the pecking order.

Quiz: Can you identify the 10 fake Millwall facts?

1 of 25

1) Millwall were created in 1885

Who plays in midfield

Rowett faces a selection dilemma in midfield as well. Blockbuster summer signing Zian Flemming is the obvious option to play in the number 10 role while fellow new arrivals George Honeyman and Jamie Shackleton could form a well-balanced central duo just behind him.

But that leaves no space for impressive homegrown talent Billy Mitchell while the Lions also have George Saville, Ryan Leonard, and George Evans to choose from.

Mitchell, in particular, doesn’t deserve to miss out after his continued development last season.

It could all depend on where Rowett sees Honeyman’s best position as the 27-year-old would certainly represent an attack-minded option were he to start in central midfield.

The first starting XI of the season could shed a fair bit of light into the manager’s plans for the season ahead.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 2 Millwall dilemmas facing Gary Rowett ahead of Stoke City clash

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