Millwall have had a relatively solid and comfortable start to the campaign so far, having found themselves sat quite nicely in 11th place heading into the international break.
As ever, the Lions have been hard to break down and have lost only twice so far in the league. The issue then, is perhaps in not turning their draws into wins, with Gary Rowett’s men having drawn six games. That’s more than any other side in the Championship and they’ll want to fix that when the next round of games begin.
Still, the Millwall boss has put together a solid squad of players at the moment who have managed to drag the side into the top half of the table. Jed Wallace for instance remains at his fit and firing best, having notched four goals and four assists so far this season.
With only 11 games gone so far in the second tier though, there are still plenty of games to be played and plenty of points to be won and lost along the way.
Here though are our picks for the current best Millwall starting XI from those performances so far.
GK – Bartosz Bialkowski
The 34-year old is the current undisputed number one at Millwall. He’s played in every Championship game for his club so far this campaign and has only conceded 11 goals (an average of one per game).
He’s also had three clean sheets and even saved a penalty to boot – and those clean sheets came against stern opposition too in Swansea City, Bristol City and last year’s play-off hopefuls Barnsley.
The Poland man is invaluable to the Lions and gets a place in this squad.
CB – Murray Wallace
Wallace has become an important player for Millwall since joining the club from Scunthorpe back in 2018. He’s yet another to have played in 11 games so far in the 2021/22 season and has even chipped in with a goal.
He’s been a somewhat versatile figure for Gary Rowett in the games he has featured so far, having mainly been utilised in the centre of defence but also having appeared as a left-back and even a left midfielder.
He hasn’t let that stop him from putting in some super showings in a Millwall shirt so far though and he is definitely one of the first names on the team sheet.
Quiz: Have Millwall ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
CB – Daniel Ballard
The youngster is only on loan at Millwall but with the performances he has put in so far at the Den, they’ll be wanting him back on a more permanent basis when his current deal comes to an end.
The 22-year old has looked like a brick wall at the back for the Lions and had a similar impact for Blackpool in his previous stint out on loan. It’s hard to believe his age considering how consistently solid he has been at the back so far in his career and he is continuing to prove himself as a superb second tier player.
Another to play in every fixture (and bag a goal no less) he forms part of this fantastic Millwall backline.
CB – Jake Cooper
Finishing up in the final centre-back position is Jake Cooper.
Ever reliable and with 200 appearances to his name for the club, the 26-year old remains a mainstay in the side. During his four year tenure with the Lions, he has become a firm favourite with the fans and is admired by many others who watch the Championship on a regular basis.
This year, alongside his two defensive partners, he has formed a three at the back that has managed to grind out results and snatch points from some decent opposition. He shows no signs of slowing down and another frightening factor is that he still has plenty of good years left in the tank – and his best ones might still be in front of him.
RM – Dan McNamara
McNamara returned from his St Johnstone loan back in January and found himself thrust straight into the starting line-up at his parent club.
Back and ready to finally play on a regular basis for Millwall, the 22-year old has already played some attractive football in his five appearances this season and shows signs of getting even better.
His dribbling has looked sharp and the Englishman looks an exciting prospect for the Lions to have in their squad.
CM – George Saville
Having moved to the club from Middlesbrough over the summer, the 28-year old has already made his mark for his new side.
Featuring in every league outing, he’s proven he is adept in whatever role he is given in the centre of midfield and has even chipped in with a goal. Always running and working, the Northern Irishman can already be considered an important player for Gary Rowett and he’ll be crucial for the side going forward in this campaign.
CM – Maikel Kieftenbeld
The Dutchman was signed from Birmingham after over 100 appearances for the Blues and Millwall fans can no doubt already tell why he was such a prominent figure for his former team.
A battler in midfield, he’s won more tackles than any other player in the Lions side this season with 21 and his ability to quash opposition attacks via interceptions and a well-timed challenge cannot be understated. His work helps make the rest of the team tick and that’s why he earns a place in this starting XI.
LM – Scott Malone
Another summer signing, Scott Malone has strolled into the Millwall team and taken it by storm.
The 30-year old has years of experience to call upon and it’s clear to see – his work on that left side for the Lions has been important in helping start attacks for his team and he’s already bagged himself an assist this year.
That isn’t to say that the left midfielder is just about attacking play – in fact, Malone has won the third most tackles of anyone at the club this season and also has the joint-second most interceptions too.
An asset at both ends of the pitch, Malone bags a place in this XI.
CAM – Jed Wallace
What can you really say about Jed Wallace? Not just one of the best players in a Millwall shirt but one of the best in his position in the entire league, the 27-year old just continues to impress every week.
His goal contribution stats so far this season are off the charts, with eight in total in just ten games. He splits it equally too, looking just adept when given a chance one-on-one as he does teeing up a teammate (as shown by his four goals and four assists).
He always looks like he can conjure something out of nothing and his creativity and vision cannot be understated. A dead-cert to start as much as possible for Gary Rowett this campaign and a definite for this team.
CAM – Matt Smith
Matt Smith has proven to be a useful asset for his current club, with the 32-year old working hard to produce the goods in attack for Millwall.
He’s only bagged one goal and one assist this season to date but goals isn’t all the player offers – and that’s why he has played in all 11 league games so far this year.
Smith can work up front on his own or in a two and has also dropped back to a more CAM/CF position too and worked as a provider for a man further up the field. His work ethic is solid and even at 32, he looks a good player to have leading the line.
ST – Benik Afobe
The final player in this XI is Afobe.
As the striker with the most goals for the Lions so far this season, he gets in the side for his goalscoring ability. Although not clinical – two goals in eight appearances – the forward clearly still has a finish in him and is good at drawing fouls to allow set-pieces for his team, as well as holding the ball up to bring his other creative teammates into the game.
Although he’s only on loan from Stoke, he’s already done more for the Lions in this loan spell than in his previous two at Trabzonspor and Bristol City.