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Gary Rowett faces these Millwall dilemmas ahead of Stoke City at 3pm



Millwall travel to Stoke City aiming to stretch their winning run to three successive matches in the Championship following their 1-0 success against Rotherham United on Good Friday.

Rowett takes his Millwall side to the home of his former club with the Lions ahead of the Potters on goal difference and with both clubs eight points adrift of the play-offs with seven games remaining. It is likely going to be too big of a gap to breach for either of the two in the remaining games. However, if anyone of them have a chance they will have to secure all three points from this fixture.

The Lions have managed to improve their form in the last few weeks with them winning three of their last four games in the Championship. That comes after they had managed to claim just one win in their previous five matches. There will be some issues that will need to be addressed for Millwall to be able to continue their recent improvements here.

With that in mind, here we take a look at some of the dilemmas facing Rowett heading into the game…

How to cope without the influential presence of Hutchinson

One of the major dilemmas that will be facing Rowett not just against Stoke but also potentially for the remaining matches is how to cope without one of their best players in the shape of Shaun Hutchinson. The defender had been an ever-present for the Lions throughout the campaign until he was forced off the field in the first half of the 1-0 win against Rotherham on Friday.

Rowett confirmed to the media after the game that the defender had suffered a calf injury in the first half against Rotherham and that he imagined it was a ‘reasonably serious injury.’ That will leave the Millwall manager needing to assess how to keep the back three performing well and solidly without one of the most important components of it.

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What number is Shaun Williams?

Alex Pearce represents a very good backup option to come into the side so Millwall will not be required to change formation to compensate for the loss of Hutchinson. That is a positive and it will also give the chance for the 32-year-old to stake a claim for more regular starts in the league after he has managed just 16 starts and 20 league appearances this term so far.

How to keep picking up consistent wins to keep faint play-off hopes alive

Before their win against Rotherham on Good Friday made it back-to-back wins in the Championship, the Lions had managed to string successive wins together in the league on just two occasions all season. They won two in a row against Wycombe Wanderers and Luton Town back in October and then three in a row against Sheffield Wednesday, Reading and Birmingham City in February.

Those are the sorts of runs you need to have consistently in the Championship if you are going to be able to make it into the play-offs. The Lions have been hampered by draws all campaign long that have failed to see them pick up enough momentum to ever threaten the top six places. In total, they have been held for a point on 16 occasions, the most by far of any team in the division.

Rowett needs to find a way for his side to consistently edge the tight matches they have been involved in. They have managed to do that over the last few weeks, with three wins in four and they will need to do that once again against a usually solid Stoke City side. Any chance of a top-six finish would require a major winning run in the last seven games so there is no room left for draws.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Gary Rowett faces these Millwall dilemmas ahead of Stoke City at 3pm

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