Leeds United Jury: The New Den will provide United with physical and mental examination

Pontus Jansson.
Pontus Jansson.
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Our fans’ panel look ahead to Leeds United’s trip to Millwall tomorrow.

ANDY RHODES

Liam Cooper.

Liam Cooper.

Millwall always seem to know how to get the better of us. The New Den was the scene last season when the wheels came off, and then back at Elland Road they somehow managed to walk away victorious.

They came out of the traps fighting on both occasions, immediately getting in Leeds’ faces and letting them know they were in a game. This season Leeds will be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.

The Whites will visit south London exactly 52 weeks after they did last year, once again unbeaten and again playing an attractive brand of passing football.

Meanwhile, the Lions have made a sluggish start to their second season in the Championship following promotion in 2016/17 and Leeds will be hoping that their new-found flair can outfox an always stubborn Millwall side.

Marcelo Bielsa.

Marcelo Bielsa.

The question is, can the new and improved Leeds stand up to the physical challenge, and, following Liam Cooper’s admission late last season, the potential mental one?

Prediction: Millwall 1 Leeds United 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

We may be top of the Championship with an unbeaten record but things don’t look as rosy as they once did.

Steve Morison.

Steve Morison.

Both recognised strikers succumbed to injury over the international break even though neither Patrick Bamford nor Kemar Roofe came close to being called up for England! With Pablo Hernandez also missing and a question mark over Gaetano Berardi, Millwall away represents an even tougher test than we thought.

And there is already the matter of our collapse in the same fixture, at a similar point last season, haunting fans who are starting to a sense an element of déjà vu.

I have every faith that Marcelo Bielsa will have the players up and drilled for this one and, even if we can’t quite run away with the game like we have a couple of times this season, I don’t expect a capitulation of nothingness like the one we saw 12 months ago.

Tyler Roberts and Jack Harrison should be relishing their first-team opportunity and, as fans, we need to back them to take it.

Prediction: Millwall 1 Leeds United 1.

DAVID WATKINS

The Championship fixture computer did its work well in providing an intriguing return to action this weekend as, in a re-run of last season, Leeds travel to Millwall on the back of an unbeaten start to the league campaign.

We all know what happened last season: Steve Morison played like a man possessed and the Lions shocked unprepared Leeds with their physical, high energy game to end our run and sow doubts from which we never quite recovered. Morison is threatening to bring out his ‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ persona, suggesting Millwall will try to hustle us again, but most Leeds fans expect Marcelo Bielsa to have us far better prepared. It would have been good to have the battling Gaetano Berardi available for this one but he has been ruled out along with Pablo Hernandez. However, Pontus Jansson will be keen to reassert his status.

With four defeats in our last four visits and not a goal scored, it’s time for Bielsa to show we are now a completely different proposition.

Prediction: Millwall 0 Leeds United 2.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds return to action after the international break tomorrow at a place where it all went wrong last season.

Defeat to our bitter rivals showed other teams how to beat a team that was riding high in the Championship. Leeds never recovered and the superb start was another ‘false dawn’. Neil Harris’ team haven’t started the season too impressively but they will be eager to put one over Leeds at a sold-out Den. It’s not one of Leeds’ happiest hunting grounds and probably the least favourite ground of the away supporters.

Pablo Hernandez’s craft of making something out of nothing was absent from the game with Middlesbrough and will be missed against the Lions. Gaetano Berardi has not recovered from a knock he received in the last game so won’t continue his partnership with Liam Cooper at the centre of the defence.

I can’t see a classic; it will be one of those you’ll win if you put in the maximum effort. Despite recent results there I think a win is achievable but the lads will know they’ve been in a game come five o’clock.

Prediction: Millwall 1 Leeds United 3.

SHAUN SMITH

Leeds United will beat their erstwhile nemesis Millwall as the Whites now have a goalkeeper who can catch, full-backs on both flanks and a coach who concentrates on the strengths of his own team rather than those of the opposition.

Millwall battle in the middle, go wide and then pepper the box.

Leeds will challenge them at source and cope with them at the sharp end.

United, moving the ball too quickly to allow a tackle, will leave the Lions pawing the air or charging at the stone wall that is Kalvin Phillips.

There is nothing to fear. Millwall are not as good as Leeds United. Relax. History is history. We are the future.

Prediction: Millwall 1 Leeds United 3.

MIKE GILL

The soft underbelly of Thomas Christiansen’s side was exposed at the Den a year ago, so what will happen tomorrow?

Win, lose or draw, you can be assured that United won’t fall apart this time.

Nor can I imagine Marcelo Bielsa trotting out the cliche of ‘it’s always a difficult place to come to ...’.

After several years of visiting this unattractive corner of South London, I have never understood why professional footballers find it ‘intimidating.’ It can be intimidating for a fan if you take the wrong turning at the tube station but that’s about it.

Quite simply, the buck stops with the team, whoever and wherever they play. Millwall boss Neil Harris is a good coach who can get the best out of journeymen and youngsters but his resources will always be limited.

The Whites need to attack this Championship fixture like Russian soldiers would from the Stalin era – more afraid of their own commanders than anything that the enemy can produce.

Prediction: Millwall 1 Leeds United 3.