13:00, Friday 30th March, The Den
The international break is finally over! As much as we all want the Three Lions to do well, Millwall fans will be hoping their Lions will continue their fantastic form and make their way back towards those play-off places.
Neil Harris’ team currently sit in 10th place, and unless you have been living under a rock at the moment you will have noticed that Millwall are starting to look like serious contenders for the play-off places. The Lions are in “pinch me I’m dreaming” form, undefeated in their last 14 league games and will host a side currently in 16th who also have a mini unbeaten run, but these include 2 wins and 5 draws in their last 7 games.
Recent meetings suggest that Forest have the advantage over the Lions, with Millwall winning only three of their last 10 meetings. But you wouldn’t bet against the Lions at the moment would you?...
LAST TIME OUT
Barnsley 0-2 MILLWALL: A first half goal from Lee Gregory and a wonderful second half finish from Ben Marshall secured the three points for Millwall and earned a 6th consecutive away win. Barnsley came close to finding the back on several occasions, but the heroic goalkeeping of Jordan Archer ensured the Lions left Yorkshire with the three points.
Sheff Utd 0-2 NOTTM FOREST: Forest were the better side against the Blades and managed to secure a third consecutive clean sheet, but this was also a third consecutive game without a goal. The game wasn’t able to flow as both teams would like due to the continuous clearing of snow, but Forest managed to extend their unbeaten run to 7 games.
Neil Harris’ line-up will return to the strongest for this tie. Luckily for the Lions, there were no injuries during the international break, so there is no reason why Chopper would change a line-up that has proved so deadly. Aiden O'Brien will again be looking to break into the side, but it'll be the bench for the wide man.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-2):
Like Neil Harris, Aitor Karanka should stick with the same side that has not been defeated in the last 7 fixtures. Colback and Watson will add steel and look to break down the build-up play from Saville and Wallace, and Fox will be given the unenviable task of trying to keep Lee Gregory quiet.
KEY BATTLE: SHAUN WILLIAMS (MILLWALL) VS JACK COLBACK (NOTTM FOREST)
Shaun Williams is easily the best ball player in the side, and when he is on his game he really makes Millwall tick. Williams is calm and composed under pressure, but Jack Colback has played for some of the biggest clubs in the country and will not be a walk over. Keeping Williams quiet and ineffective will not totally stop the Lions attacking, but Millwall will find it hard to effectively link up the defence and back line if Williams is successfully nullified.
Will the rest cause rust?
The international break couldn’t really have come at a worse time for Millwall, who would rather have kept playing league games and keeping our fantastic run going. Due to our great form, several players were called to their respective international sides and maintained their fitness, but some have had some time off. Will the time off cause a few of our boys to struggle to get back into their rhythm?
Will the drought continue?
Taking out the 5 goals scored away at Queens Park Rangers, goals have been hard to come by in recent weeks for Nottingham Forest. 2 goals in their last 4 games to suggests Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper should have a relatively easy day, but as Forest need the points to get to guaranteed safety, they may come to The Den and surprise the Lions.
PREDICTION: MILLWALL 1-0 nottm forest
Nothing suggests to me that Nottingham Forest will come to South Bermondsey and cause Millwall any problems. Their recent goal-shy performances as well as the form of the Lions’ defence tells me that Millwall will keep a clean sheet, and Millwall’s fast paced attack will lead to goals. Millwall will take another step towards the play-off places with a single goal victory. Come on you Lions!