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Smith starts: The predicted Millwall XI to face Cambridge tonight

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Millwall have endured a frustrating start to the new Championship season with the Lions having not managed to win any of their four league matches so far.

The Lions have managed to win just one game so far this term and that came in their 2-1 triumph against League One Portsmouth in the previous round of the League Cup.

Having suffered a frustrating 3-1 defeat away to Cardiff City on Saturday the pressure will be starting to mount on Gary Rowett to turn things around and start putting a consistent run of wins together.

Rowett has already indicated that he feels it is time to hand chances to one or two players that have been on the fringes of the squad in the opening weeks of the campaign.

That suggests that the Millwall boss is prepared to make changes to his side for the visit of Cambridge United in the League Cup tonight in the hope of picking up a much-needed victory.

Cambridge United will head into the game with a lot of belief after they have enjoyed a solid start to their first season back in the third tier of English football.

They had managed to secure two draws in their opening three matches as well as a victory against Swindon Town via a penalty shootout in the previous round.

That was before they then picked up a very impressive 3-0 win against Burton Albion on Saturday in a result that showed that they have what it takes to hold their own in League One.

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So with Millwall aiming to get back to winning ways and to avoid an upset in the League Cup, we take a look at how Rowett could line-up tonight against Cambridge…

Rowett has been using more of a 3-4-1-2 formation in Miwall’s opening Championship matches this term with George Saville pushing on and playing off the front two.

However, against Portsmouth in the previous round, Rowett adapted the formation into more of a 3-5-2 set-up. That is what he could be set to do once again here against Cambridge.

George Long would be expected to come into the side as he did for Bartosz Białkowski in the previous round against Portsmouth.

The keeper will be aiming to lay down a marker and show that he can be ready to challenge Millwall’s number one for a place in the side on a regular basis.

In the back three, Rowett’s options are limited by the continued absence of Shaun Hutchinson, but he could opt to give Dan Ballard a rest and bring in the experienced Alex Pearce in his place.

Both Murray Wallace and Jake Cooper look set to keep their places in the starting line-up.

Millwall are currently limited in terms of their options in the wing-back positions with Danny McNamara and Ryan Leonard having picked up groin and hip injuries respectively.

That means that not Marlon Romeo and Scott Malone would be expected to maintain their place in Millwall’s starting line-up against Cambridge.

In the midfield three, Rowett could look to make a couple of changes to freshen things up with Ben Thompson potentially in a position to come into the side from the start. While Conor Mahoney will also be keen to get a start and show what he can do for the Lions.

Maikel Kieftenbeld might be entrusted by Rowett to provide the defensive stability in the midfield area amid the changes as he was in the previous round against Portsmouth.

Upfront, Rowett might look to make changes and hand both Benik Afobe and Jed Wallace a rest.

Both Matt Smith and Tom Bradshaw could therefore come into the side and they will be keen to score a goal or two to remind the Lions of their usefulness.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Smith starts: The predicted Millwall XI to face Cambridge tonight

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