Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Friday August 7 2009
St. Mary's Stadium
So it's that time again! What we've all been waiting for, the start of the new season!
And what a way to start with the Lions travelling to St. Mary's for Southampton's first taste of third tier football for 59 years.
Millwall, of course are no strangers to League One, having reached the play-off final but lost out narrowly 3-2 to Scunthorpe United at Wembley.
But enough of the past, this is all about tomorrow and the start of the new era at Southampton. Thanks to Markus Liebherr, the Saints were finally taken over, and experienced manager Alan Pardew was appointed to head the Saints in the right direction.
With the Sky Cameras coming to St. Mary's it adds another twist on what is a vital game for both sides, and if Saints are going to challenge for promotion, a vital win is needed tomorrow to take them to minus seven.
"He will be very important to us - we have got one what I would call number one centre half and when he was injured for QPR we were always going to struggle against a team as powerful as them.
"Him missing that game was part of the reason we performed so badly so having him back is a massive boost."
Centre back Wayne Thomas has been declared fit, and is likely to start along side Chris Perry in the heart of defence.
Left-back Dan Harding is set to make his debut along with ex-Reading skipper Graeme Murty who will slot in at right back.
Grzegorz Rasiak will miss out through injury, and will be replaced by fellow countryman Marek Saganowski along side youngster Matthew Paterson up front.
The young starlet is now Southampton's prized asset. His flair and determination has made him a fans favourite and will be out to prove a point tomorrow.
The Lions have some injury problems at the back, with Zak Whitbread, Tony Craig and Andy Frampton all doubtful, and Danny Senda and Paul Robinson definitely out.
New signings Jason Price, John Sullivan and Steve Morison could all start.
The ex-Leyton Orient striker is Millwall's target man and will be out to cause Southampton's new defence problems all day.
The last time the two sides met was in September 2006 in the Carling Cup, and Southampton demolished Millwall at the New Den 4-0.
The Lions have a good record away to Saints, having only lost once out of their eight last visits.
Mr. Michael Russell (Hertfordshire)
Saints 2 - 2 Millwall. An exciting match with drama at both ends. Both teams are having problems at the back, and therefore could leak goals.
Huddersfield (A) Saturday 15th
Swindon Town (A) Tuesday 18th
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Date:Friday August 7 2009
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