West Ham boss full of respect for Jackett’s Millwall

The Hammers will not find the going easy in their lunchtime derby showdown with Millwall at the New Den.

When Sam Allardyce was asked who were West Ham’s rivals for Championship promotion this season, there were one or two surprised looks when he mentioned the name of Millwall.

The West Ham boss is a big admirer of Lions manager Kenny Jackett and their ninth-place finish last term, just five points off the play-offs, suggested that they may be ready for a bigger challenge this season.

However, the loss of top scorer Steve Morison to Norwich City may have a detrimental effect on their chances and they currently sit in 15th place with six points from as many games.

Darius Henderson was brought in from Sheffield United to replace Morison and he has scored two so far, while loan signing Jay Simpson also adds firepower with fellow new boys Dany N’Guessan from Leicester City and Liam Feeney from Bournemouth bringing youthful exuberance to the line-up.

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They may have lost Morison, but midfielder Liam Trotter can also provide goals. He chipped in with eight last term and already has a couple to his name this season, so must be the one two watch.

Millwall’s only win so far this season was a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at the New Den, but despite their lowly position, they are unbeaten on home turf this season.

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Few will forget the violence-marred Carling Cup tie the last time the two teams met, West Ham having to go into extra time before finally winning 3-1, but their record south of the river is not very impressive.

They have lost on their last three trips to Millwall, one of them a 4-1 drubbing which saw Tim Cahill grab two, Christian Dailly score an own goal and Stephen Bywater get sent off.

In fact you have to go way back to 1988 for the last time the Hammers came home from Millwall with the points, their 1-0 win courtesy of a Paul Ince strike.

There are no big names in the Millwall squad, but Jackett has crafted them into a hard-working team and as everyone knows there will be local bragging rights to worry about after this early kick-off.

West Ham have won all their away games so far, but this is a derby match and they may well have to settle for a draw.

Possible team: Forde, Robinson, Mkandawire, Craig, Ward, Dunne, Bouazza, Trotter, Henry, Simpson, Henderson.

Prediction: Millwall 1

West Ham 1

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