Millwall v Swansea: Liverpool loanee can make his mark

Steve Cooper - Swansea
Swansea have scored in all bar five away games under Steve Cooper
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Championship top-six contenders Millwall and Swansea lock horns at The Den on Tuesday evening and in-form Mark O'Haire is backing a Swans starlet to find the net at a decent price...

"The Swansea striker leads the line in Cooper’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system, has notched five goals in 12 starts since signing in January, averaging 2.58 attempts per-game"

Millwall v Swansea
Tuesday June 30, 17:00
Sky Sports

Millwall fail to show at Oakwell

Millwall lost ground in the battle for Championship play-off places as they were held to a goalless draw in a largely lacklustre encounter at relegation-threatened Barnsley. The Lions conjured up just one on-target attempt, although Gary Rowett's men went closest to breaking the deadlock when Shane Ferguson's curling free-kick struck the crossbar.

The Bermondsey boys were thankful for Bartosz Bialkowski's efforts post-match as the Millwall goalkeeper was also called into action to thwart the hosts with a fine display between the sticks at Oakwell. However, the stalemate leaves the Lions now five points adrift of the top-six positions as we head into the final seven games of the campaign.

Rowett recalled on-loan Mason Bennett alongside Tom Bradshaw in attack but was left deflated by his team's display, saying: "We should have won but lacked a bit of quality in that final action, it doesn't seem to be quite there at the moment. We are at a point where we need to find momentum. We need a big week, we certainly need to win on Tuesday."

Swansea suffer shock loss

Swansea's play-off prospects were handed a damaging blow on Saturday as the Welsh club suffered a surprise home defeat against basement battlers Luton. Steve Cooper's charges appeared off the pace throughout and struggled to trouble the Hatters, falling behind with 18 minutes to play before seeing substitute Jordon Garrick sent off following melee involving both sets of players.

The red card compounded a miserable afternoon for Cooper's men, who drop to 10th in the Championship table and now find themselves four points adrift of the top-six. The Swans were hesitant, sluggish and laboured, lacking the verve and purpose which had seen them breeze past Middlesbrough 3-0 on their return last weekend.

Post-match Cooper accepted his side weren't good enough, saying, "Poor result, poor performance. "We gave away a poor goal, giving away possession a few times and a free cross into the box and a free header. A really, really disappointing day." Winger Aldo Kalulu is unlikely to keep his place after being replaced at half-time, whilst Garrick is now banned.

Little to choose between well-matched pair

Millwall earned top honours when the two teams met in November with Jed Wallace's fine free-kick the only goal separating the sides. Tight matches have been a familiar theme between the pair over recent head-to-heads whilst the Lions come into this contest having failed to win their last three against Swansea at The Den (W0-D1-L2) since 2017.

Millwall [2.60] rank eighth in the Championship table based on results since Gary Rowett took charge (W10-D10-L6) as only West Brom have lost fewer league games. The Lions have W5-D5-L3 at The Den under the current regime, returning a rock-solid 55% Expected Goals (xG) ratio as hosts. Meanwhile, only Cardiff (20) have scored more set-piece goals (18).

Swansea [3.15] sit amongst the top-six when viewing the visitors' road record (W6-D9-L4) this term with three of the Welsh club's away losses arriving at the breakaway top five in the table. Despite the positive results, the Swans are posting a negative away xG process and have managed just W4-D10-L8 against clubs in 15th and above across all venues.

Brewster can make his mark

Millwall's matches since Gary Rowett arrived in Bermondsey have averaged just 2.19 goals per-game as 18/26 (69%) fell below the Under 2.5 Goals [1.61] barrier. The Lions have shipped fewer than two goals in 19 of those 26 tussles, whilst their 13 home fixtures under the current boss have produced an average of just 2.12 Expected Goals (xG).

In contrast, Swansea's road trips have generated plenty of goalmouth action. The Welsh outfit's games as guests have averaged 2.61 goals, as well as 2.82 xG, with Steve Cooper's troops scoring in all bar five of their 19 away days with 11/19 (58%) paying out in the Both Teams To Score [2.00] column. The numbers suggest the visitors can grab a goal here.

With that in mind, Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster looks worthy of our interest at 3.40 to score at anytime. The Swansea striker leads the line in Cooper's preferred 4-2-3-1 system, has notched five goals in 12 starts since signing in January, averaging 2.58 attempts per-game, 2.08 of which are from inside the penalty area.

Mark's 2019/20 Profit/Loss

Staked: 147.00 pts
Returned: 167.67 pts
P/L: +20.67 pts

Mark O'Haire,

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