Blues v Millwall preview

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April 4, 2013 by Gabriel Sutton

millwall badgeThe Championship is a strange league, isn’t it? A league in which you can end up annihilating the team 4th top away from home on one day, and be 3-0 down at half time to the team 3rd from bottom just three days later. It’s very unpredictable, yet a part of me could just tell we’d lose the game against Wolves, it was such typical Blues inconsistency. We’re still up in 11th place, so we won’t go down, but the result scuppers any marginal hopes of a late dash for the play-offs, which some of us have been theorising. It guarantees a season finale of mid-table obscurity, which, given tough times we’ve had to endure for a lot of this campaign, will do nicely for now.

Expected XIs

Blues: Butland; Caddis, Davies, Robinson, Hancox; Redmond, Fahey, Morrison, Ferguson; Zigic, Thomas

Millwall: Forde; Dunne, Shittu, Lowry, Adam Smith; Easter, Abdou, Trotter, Chaplow, Keogh; Hulse

Tactical breakdown

The recent form of Nathan Redmond and Shane Ferguson, the return to fitness of Chris Burke, the difference Fahey has made and Elliott’s goals, albeit from the spot on Monday, will make this a difficult team for Clark to pick. Certainly in midfield. I hope, and think, Clark will go with a fairly attacking 4-4-2 for this one, because Millwall pose little threat going forward.

daviesWhether it’s Rob Hulse or John Marquis that starts up front for the Lions, both of whom have just one goal all season, I would expect Curtis Davies to mark them out of the game with few problems… I hope. Millwall’s five in midfield will be the main problem we’ll have to deal with if we play 4-4-2. It may mean, without resorting to lumping the ball, we’ll have to take a more direct, high-tempo passing approach, so that we can get the ball beyond their midfield quicker, and more effectively.  If this is the case, Danny Shittu will need to use all of his experience to counter Zigic’s aerial threat.

Millwall this season

Jackett has made Millwall tough to beat

Jackett has made Millwall tough to beat

Under Kenny Jackett, Millwall don’t give many goals away. Except, of course, the 12 against us in our last three meetings! They’ve got the best defensive record of all bottom 17 teams in the division, having kept 10 clean sheets. On the flip side though, only 4 teams have scored less than them, and none of their top five scorers are strikers who are available to play for them on Saturday. Their top scorer this season, Chris Wood, left them in December. It’s worth a mention that Millwall are one of the surprise packages of the FA Cup this season, having already reached semi-finals. Although, only one of the four teams they’ve beaten on the way to Wembley has been Premiership quality opposition. Well actually it was Aston Villa, so really none of them have been ‘Premiership quality opposition’. Millwall have also got a bit of a disciplinary problem. Their team has collected the most yellow cards in the league (43), 9 of which have come to Shane Lowry, who is the most booked player. Typical ex-Villa player.

My prediction

We have little to play for, and Millwall might have half an eye on the FA Cup semi-final in a week’s time. Millwall don’t give many goals away at all, but I equally think we’ll recover from our poor defensive display against Wolves to keep a clean sheet. Therefore, I could quite easily see this game being a bit of a stalemate, in a game that will bear little significance to both of our seasons. 0-0.

Other predictions

@Bluesforlife123: lose 2-1 because we’re *EDIT: not so good* at home this season.

@Mattgauder2: 2-1 Blues

@hyndsbcfc Blues 5 (Thomas 18, 29, 58, 67, 90+1) Millwall 4

By Gabriel Sutton

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