Millwall are set to entertain Barnsley this weekend in the Emirates FA Cup third round at The Den.
It will be the first time these 2 sides have met since September where Barnsley ran out 3-1 winners, a match which saw manager Paul Heckingbottom sent to the stands. Millwall have lost their last 4 matches against the tykes including their 3-1 defeat in the 2016 League One Play Off Final.
However, Neil Harris’ men are off the back of a very strong December, picking up 11 points from a possible 18 against tough opposition. Including home wins against Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and QPR as well as draws away to Aston Villa and at home to the league leaders Wolves. Before losing 2-1 away to Norwich City on New Year’s Day. The same couldn’t be said for their opponents who only picked up 3 points out of 18 in December, drawing matches against Preston, Reading and Brentford.
The FA Cup has been somewhat an emotional rollercoaster for Millwall fans. The lions got to the quarter finals last season after beating 3 Premier League sides (albeit weakened sides) in Bournemouth, Watford and the then-reigning champions Leicester City. Before losing 6-0 to Tottenham Hotspur in the last ever cup match at White Hart Lane. The same couldn’t be said for Barnsley, they 2-1 to Blackpool in a third round replay after a 0-0 draw at Oakwell.
Ahead of the match, Millwall boss Neil Harris may look to jig his squad around, with Tom Elliott, Tony Craig, Ben Thompson and Kris Twardek all in contention to be involved. They are still without Byron Webster and Shane Ferguson through long term injuries.
Barnsley have been handed a boost as captain Angus MacDonald is back alongside Adam Jackson who have both returned to training. Although they will still be without Andy Yiadom and Ryan Hedges through injury.
Speaking ahead of the game, Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom has warned that their result at The Den earlier this season goes out of the window ahead of this weekend’s fixture, speaking to the official website, he said: “The furthest I ever got (in the FA Cup) as a player was the fifth round. It’d be nice to embark on a run. It’s a great competition with unique history.”
Similarly, Millwall assistant manager Dave Livermore dwelled on his side’s history in the competition. Speaking to Millwall’s official website Livermore noted: “It’s a competition we have a good history in. we did well in the competition last season and will be looking to go as far as we can again.”