CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: Millwall vs. Bournemouth

MILLWALL are set to be further stretched by injuries when they host Bournemouth at The Den on Wednesday evening.

Shane Ferguson is to have an operation on his groin, and would join Shaun Hutchinson and Matt Smith in being ruled out for the season. Ferguson hasn’t played for Millwall since March 13.

Ryan Leonard and Ben Thompson are also unlikely to play again in 2020-21.

Kenneth Zohore has a calf problem and he is in a race against time to play any more part in this campaign.

Mason Bennett is a major doubt for the visit of the Cherries and Murray Wallace could also be unavailable.

“There’s a good chance they’ll all be ruled out,” Gary Rowett said. “Fergie’s going to have to have an operation, I think that’s been confirmed.

“Muzza’s going to be very, very unlikely. Mason’s probably the closest to having at least a chance, but again he hasn’t really trained since the last game. He felt a bit sore with his calf. We’ll give him until the last possible minute but it looks unlikely that any of those will feature.

“[Zohore] hasn’t trained today and again looks very unlikely, just because of the nature of his injury, it’s a calf injury.

“We’ll see if anything drastically changes tomorrow but I don’t think it will at the minute.”

Meanwhile, Connor Mahoney will be hoping to start for the first time since last October, against this former club.

Since Mahoney injured his quad last November and again as he attempted to come back in the New Year, there has been a change in formation. Rowett switched to two strikers as he felt he needed an extra player in midfield.

That denies Mahoney a natural wide role, but he has praised Bennett and Jed Wallace for their performances after being moved to attack.

“The gaffer changed the formation playing 5-3-2 with more people in midfield and two up front that normally play on the wing,” Mahoney said.

“Mason’s a strong lad and Jed is fast and energetic. They can give centre-backs a hard time, they’ve been superb.

“The gaffer’s just tried to find – with people like Lenny out, Smudge [Smith] out, I was out – the best formation to suit the players available, and I think that’s worked.

“Hopefully I’m back on the mend now and I’ve been involved and can kick on for the rest of the season.”

Jonathan Woodgate’s Bournemouth could confirm a place in the play-offs if they win at The Den and other results go their way.

They have won their last six league games, scoring 17 goals.

Possible Millwall starting XI: Bialkowski; McNamara, Romeo, Pearce, Cooper, Malone; Kieftenbeld, Woods, Evans; Bodvarsson, J Wallace.

Match odds: Millwall 6/5 Draw 12/5 Bournemouth 7/5

Last meeting: Championship (January 12, 2021): Bournemouth 1-1 Millwall (Solanke 45+1); Smith 79).

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly