Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has suggested that Swansea City now need to concentrate on re-finding some form so that they manage to secure a play-off place, but he believes Millwall will edge their clash on Saturday.
Millwall host Swansea in Saturday’s early kick-off with them in real good spirits after they managed to make it three successive wins in the league with a 2-1 win at Stoke City last time out. That win means that Gary Rowett’s side are showing signs they will end the campaign strongly as they try and keep alive their slim chances of a top-six finish. Although they look to have left it too late.
The Lions are showing a lot of encouraging signs though at the moment and they are starting to turn the draws into wins. That has been the thing holding them back all campaign long, with Millwall having suffered fewer defeats than both Barnsley and Reading who currently sit inside the top six. It is vital they keep up their winning form if just to take some belief into next season.
As for Swansea, this is a massive game in terms of them getting their season back on track. Steve Cooper’s side are in danger of collapsing in terms of their form and they have gone from being favourites for automatic promotion to now being worried about keeping their play-off place. That comes after a run of four successive defeats in the Championship.
Worryingly the Swans have stopped keeping them out at the back and also stopped scoring goals at the other end, with them now without a goal in any of their last four matches. If that does not improve then they could well drop out of the top-six and experience the over side of what they did to Nottingham Forest on the final day of last term.
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Making his latest round of predictions for Sky Sports, Prutton suggested that Swansea would at least be able to potentially end their goal drought here. However, he also claimed that Millwall would be able to edge out the game here and claim a 2-1 victory.
He wrote: “Millwall are ticking along very nicely with three wins on the bounce. They may have left it a little too late to get into the play-offs, but they are clearly still highly motivated as the season draws to a close. Gary Rowett and his players deserve huge credit for that.
“It is all going wrong for Swansea. Four defeats in a row without scoring, and they need to make sure they keep themselves honest in this pursuit of a play-off place. I fancy them to get back amongst the goals, but think it could well be a fifth defeat in a row.”
You have to agree with Prutton here that Swansea can ill-afford not to get their form back on track here against Millwall. Another defeat would mean they would have lost nearly as many in the last few weeks as they had done all season up until that points. That is a concerning trend of form and questions would need to be asked of how Cooper can turn things around.
As for Millwall, they simply just need to continue on with the momentum that they are starting to build up in the Championship. The Lions are in irrepressible form at the moment and they are starting to take advantage of their ability to keep matches tight. Too many draws this term appear to have given them too much to do to make the play-offs but you never know what will happen if they keep winning.
This is a much bigger game for Swansea than it is for Millwall, but as such the Lions can relax while their opponents face all the pressure. For Cooper’s side a trip to a side that keep games tight and battle hard is not an ideal game for them to get back on track, but they have to find a way or they risk continuing their worrying slide.