Millwall struggled to find any kind of cutting edge as they kicked off the new Championship campaign with a dour draw at The Den.
The Lions found it difficult to break down an organised Stoke City side in a contest that lacked any sparkle.
Millwall missed the extra composure that Ryan Woods usually provides – the on-loan midfielder ineligible to face his parent club.
And he was not the only first-teamer missing for the hosts with Troy Parrott, Mahlon Romeo and Billy Mitchell also unavailable.
Genuine scoring chances were few and far between.
Bartosz Bialkowski came quickly off his line to deny City captain Sam Clucas in the seventh minute.
Lions boss Gary Rowett opted for Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to lead the frontline but the Icelandic international failed to impress. He produced a tame shot at Adam Davies in the first period.
Rowett switched around his front three in an attempt to stir his side into producing something of substance but it failed to yield results in a first period where the home side made just 99 successful passes.
Instead they had to show defensive resilience with Stoke forcing seven corners in the opening stanza.
Millwall started the second half with a bit more tempo and zip to their play but still laboured to create.
Rowett switched two attackers as he brought on Matt Smith and Connor Mahoney for Bodvarsson and Mason Bennett but they struggled to crack a strong Stoke backline.
Tommy Smith made an excellent block on a Mahoney strike after Jed Wallace teed the Lions number 21 up.
Neither side had the quality to decide a tight contest.
Millwall drew 17 league games last season and start the 2020-21 programme with a share of the spoils.
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD
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