FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert George Elek (@GeorgeElek) runs the rule over the League One play-off semi-final first leg between Millwall and Scunthorpe.
Millwall v Scunthorpe | Thursday 19:45 | Sky Sports
The capital hosts will likely have to make their home advantage count against Scunthorpe, if they are to return to Wembley for the League One play-off final.
Neil Harris’ side were beaten 3-1 by Barnsley in the fixture last term, and are hoping to go one better as they look to return to the Championship at the second time of asking.
An attack featuring Aiden O’Brian, Lee Gregory and Steve Morison will cause problems for any side at this level, but it was a strong defensive record at The Den, which had ensured that they grabbed sixth-place.
In their last home game, however, Oxford defeated the Lions 3-0. Millwall ran out eventual 4-3 winners at Bristol Rovers on Sunday, meaning they have conceded six goals in their last two fixtures.
That’s less than ideal preparation, especially considering that they had only let in two goals in their previous 12 home games before Oxford visited.
For betting purposes, however, this should be seen as an anomaly. Michael Appleton’s men were two goals up inside 10 minutes after two speculative shots from distance. Millwall have consistently had trouble keeping the goals out on their travels but they are usually rock solid on home soil.
Scunthorpe will come into the game on the back of five straight victories, commencing after a 3-1 defeat to Millwall on 1st April. Whilst they have scored consistently on their road, recent wins against MK Dons and Swindon ended a run four away losses in a row.
The betting angle
Should Millwall get a foothold into this game it would be fair to assume that the home team will be the dominant force. Had this game been played just a couple of weeks ago, Millwall would shorter than the 21/20 (Marathon) on offer.
There is little doubt that Millwall will be keen to ensure the recently poor defensive record is stopped, and there are enough doubts about Scunthorpe’s form on their travels to also invest in Millwall winning ‘to nil’ at13/5 with Paddy Power.
Millwall v Scunthorpe – Millwall to win (21/20 Marathon)
Millwall v Scunthorpe – Millwall to win ‘to nil’ (13/5 Paddy Power)