The final round of Championship fixtures in June takes place on Tuesday evening when seven games take place. Kick-off times will be staggered between 17:00 and 19:45 and that’s great news for armchair fans and bettors who have an action-packed evening of football to look forward to. The various stadiums will be empty but there will be no lack of followers around the UK and beyond.
Round 40 of the season throws up some eye-catching fixtures and we get off to a strong start with Millwall vs Swansea City at The Den opening the show. This match kicks off at 17:00 GMT and should to provide followers with a competitive 90 minutes. This will be the second match of the season involving these sides and the first of 2020. The Lions nicked a hard-fought 1-0 across the border at Liberty Stadium back in November, claiming the points thanks to a single goal from Jed Wallace.
The head-to-head stats suggests we should prepare for another close contest. Swansea have won this fixture 20 times in the past, Millwall taking 19 and 10 games ending in a draw. There has been no more than one goal between the rivals in their last three meetings. This has all the ingredients of a cracker and football fans hope the match lives up to expectations.
Lions lack bite in final third
Millwall sit 11th in the EFL Championship table after 389 games with their record reading 13 wins and 16 draws against 10 defeats. The London side has notched 46 goals so far and that makes them one of the lowest scorers in the division this term. At the other end of the park they have conceded 43 goals which is the same number as Fulham who sit fifth in the table and are one of the favourites to secure promotion to the Premier League. Ensuring his side are more ruthless in the final third of the pitch will be the aim of Lions manager Gary Rowett in what’s left of this season and heading into the 2020/21 campaign.
The home team headed into lockdown on the back of an impressive 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest on the road. That result was achieved on 6 March thanks to goals a hattrick from Smith, all three scored in the first half. The hosts were beaten in their first game back, however, ending on the losing side of a 3-2 final score in London against Derby County. In what was an end-to-end match, Smith and Bodvaesson hit the net for Millwall but those efforts were bettered by a treble for Sibley, including a 90th-minute winner.
Millwall were last seen in action on Saturday afternoon when ending goalless away to Barnsley. It was a match they were expected to win and had the chances to claim all three points but a lack of composure in the danger areas came back to haunt them. Speaking to the press at the end of the match, Rowett said he believed his side should have won the match but are lacking momentum. Will we see them roll to a finish this season?
Swansea suffer damaging defeat
Swansea City are one place higher in the charts than their opponents, sitting 10th with 56 points on the board. The Welsh club has won 14, drawn 14 and lost 11 games so far this season, scoring 49 goals and conceding 46. They remain in the hunt for a playoff finish and extended season that would gift them a crack at a return to the Premier League this summer. Heading into this midweek fixture, the Swans are just four points behind derby rivals Cardiff City and the top six. Securing a playoff finish would be a real source of joy to Swansea fans, especially if it came at the expense of Cardiff.
Despite pushing for the prize places, Swansea have managed just one win in their last five league games. That run is made up of two defeats and a couple of draws. The visitors are lacking consistency but that is a common theme amongst teams involved in the race for the promotion playoff places at this late stage of the season. If Swansea are to trouble Cardiff, they must make a return to winning ways in midweek and put together a strong run of form between now and the final match of the campaign.
Swans returned from lockdown to record an important 3-0 win away to a decent Middlesbrough side on 20 June and that was three points that injected belief and confidence into the ranks. Despite that result, we last saw Steve Cooper’s men losing to lowly Luton Town at home. That was a match they were favourites to win by a comfortable margin but a goal from Collins on 72 minutes stunned the Swans support. Garrick was sent off near the end as Swansea’s day went from bad to worse. Speaking to the press at the end of the match, Cooper labelled it a poor result and a poor performance from his side.
Millwall vs Swansea prediction
There’s very little between these sides in terms of recent form of points gained this season. The winner of this match would keep alive their hopes of pressuring the playoff places, but the loser would be sent back to the drawing board to plan for next season. The importance of this match to both sides could ensure we see a tight, nervy 90 minutes of football.
With both camps knowing the dangers associated with losing the game we could see them set up defensively, concentrating on cutting out any individual errors while taking advantage of any chances that come their way at the opposing end of the pitch. A draw wouldn’t be the worst result for either side involved here.
Millwall are odds favourites to win this match with traders offering 31/20 on the locals picking up all three points. Swansea City are 2/1 to take the victory back to Wales. The draw is also being offered at 2/1 to those who can’t split the rivals. The odds are available for pre-match betting and could surface for live betting as well.