Two of the losers in the promotion race from last season will kick off the Championship campaign this weekend with Michael Carrick aiming to carry on his stunning form with Middlesbrough with Millwall up first the Riverside Stadium.
Boro have been excellent since the former Manchester United star took the helm midway through the 2022/23 campaign. In fact, Carrick managed to guide the club from the relegation zone right into the playoffs and since taking over in October, he managed to put together a record of 18 wins from 33 games, losing 10 games and drawing the other five to equal out a record of 54.55%.
Boro had a terrible time during preseason, as they managed to lose to sides like Hartlepool United and draw with non-league side York City 0-0. In fact, the club's only wins came against Vitoria and Rotherham where they managed to keep a clean sheet. Further draws with Bradford City and Auxerre were also registered, while Carrick's side lost 1-0 to Real Betis.
Back in the season, Middlesbrough drew 0-0 with Coventry City away from home in the Championship semi-finals first leg, although a 1-0 loss back to the Riverside Stadium sent Coventry to Wembley.
As for Millwall, they missed out on a spot in the playoffs on the final day of the season when they fell short of a point on sixth-placed Sunderland after a stunning 4-3 home loss against Millwall that saw the club lead twice and fall behind on multiple occasions at The Den.
It was still a positive season at times for Millwall, but they were ultimately let down with their away record - the Lions won secured just five of their 19 wins away from home.
Millwall did have a better record on the defensive front than Boro, letting in 50 goals compared to their 56. However, by scoring just 57 goals in contrast to Middlesbrough's 84, there was a huge difference in that department. During preseason, Millwall would only lose to Fortuna Sittard after a loss last weekend. Elsewhere, the club defeated Sutton United and Gillingham by keeping clean sheets, as the Lions also drew 2-2 with Millwall.
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