After another impressive showing last season, eventually finishing in 11th spot in the championship, Millwall headed into the new campaign with confidence, as Gary Rowett set his sights on a battle for the playoff spots.
They got off to an acceptable start, collecting two points from their first two league games as they drew 1-1 with Queens Park Rangers and Blackburn Rovers, while also defeating Portsmouth 2-1 in the first round of the EFL Cup.
The Lions were unable to sustain an unbeaten start though, as the third league game saw them fall to a 2-1 defeat in a London derby with Fulham, as Benik Afobe pulled a late goal back in vain after Fabio Carvalho and Aleksandar Mitrovic both got on the scoresheet for their opponents in the first 10 minutes.
They again fell short last time out, as an Aden Flint brace and a Sean Morrison goal fired Cardiff City to a 3-1 win last week, with Afobe again hitting what turned out to be a consolation goal.
However, Rowett’s men come into Saturday’s game with some renewed confidence after a Murray Wallace brace and a Matt Smith goal saw them knock Cambridge United out of the EFL Cup on Tuesday with a 3-1 win, and they will look to build on that with what would be their first Championship victory of the season.
On the other hand, Blackpool come into the game on the back of a cup defeat, as they fell to a 3-2 home loss at the hands of third-tier Sunderland, with Aiden O’Brien completing a hat-trick in the 91st minute to see the visitors progress despite an early Shayne Lavery opener and an 87th-minute Josh Bowler equaliser.
While that did come after a commendable 2-2 away draw against promotion-chasing Bournemouth, with James Husband and Jerry Yates drawing them level in the second half after an early Dominic Solanke brace, the previous two league outings produced back-to-back defeats.
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After an opening draw with Bristol City and a dominant cup win over Middlesbrough, Neil Critchley’s men were first defeated 2-0 by Cardiff City, with Leandro Bacuna and Kieffer Moore getting on the scoresheet, before Viktor Gyokeres hit the only goal in a 1-0 win for Coventry City at Bloomfield Road in the last Championship game.
As a result, they now sit on just two points from their first four games back in the second tier after Kenneth Dougall fired them to victory in last season’s League One playoff final, and they will be desperate to find a first win on Saturday to climb away from the foot of the table.