15:00, Saturday 17th February, St Andrews Stadium
If results had gone other ways, we would be preparing for a home FA Cup 5th Round tie against Tottenham Hotspur at The Den on Sunday. Unfortunately, Rochdale did not read the script, and their bunker-like pitch proved to be a sand trap Millwall could not get out of. Alas, our FA Cup tie has now become a Championship weekend, and Neil Harris will be looking for the three points.
Millwall are unbeaten in the last five, with two wins and three draws, and will be confident of getting the win against the struggling Blues. Birmingham sit outside the relegation zone by just two points, and have an appalling goal difference of -21, so a negative result could see them finish the weekend back in the bottom three.
LAST TIME OUT
Aston Villa 2-0 BIRMINGHAM: Aston Villa were deserved winners of the Midlands derby in a game where Birmingham's Cheikh Ndoye saw a red card in second half injury time. Birmingham were unlucky not to find the back of the net, with the Blues hitting the woodwork twice, but the Villains were the better team and deserved winners.
MILLWALL 1-1 Cardiff City: After braving a flurry of corners from the Welsh side and starting the game slow, Millwall recovered well and deservedly cancelled out Junior Hoilett's 3rd minute goal when Lee Gregory scored in the 40th minute. Neil Warnock felt his side should've had a penalty, and also that they had a goal disallowed, but lady luck for once smiled at the Lions, and ensured the game ended in a stalemate.
Birmingham will look to pack the midfield to try and stop the threat that comes from George Saville and the Lions' midfield. Cheikh Ndoye is serving a one match suspension and David Davies could miss out with a leg injury.
Millwall will start the game with Birmingham the same way they lined up against Cardiff. Mahlon Romeo had a shaky start, which led to Junior Hoilett's goal, but he recovered well and finished the game strong. Marshall impressed so expect to see him out again on the left, and Tunnicliffe also performed well enough to keep Williams out of the side.
KEY BATTLE: KARL JENKINSON (BIRMINGHAM CITY) VS. BEN MARSHALL (MILLWALL)
Ben Marshall was full of energy and promise on his home debut for Millwall, and will be looking to keep the left midfield position his own in the absence of Aiden O'Brien. Jenkinson has proved he has the capability to be a regular in the Premier League, but playing in the back line that leaks goals against a midfielder with a point to prove could be too much for the right-back.
Birmingham are near the bottom of the table for a reason, not only are they conceding goals, they aren't scoring many either. The Blues have not scored in 15 games this season, no other Championship club have scored less than Birmingham and no Championship team has been awarded fewer penalties this season than Birmingham neither.
Can the Lions do the double?
Millwall's horrific away form has now flipped on it's head, and a win at St. Andrews will be Millwall's third consecutive away win. If the Lions are victorious against Birmingham, then this will be the first time in 18 seasons that the South London side will have taken 6 points off the Midlands side.
PREDICITION: BIRMINGHAM CITY 0-1 MILLWALL
Millwall will go to Birmingham confident of getting the points, and the combination of Morison and Gregory along with our new look midfield quartet will be too strong for the Blues. The combination of Cooper and Hutchinson will be too good for a team who struggle in front of goal, so I predict a quiet afternoon for the Millwall back line.