15:00, Saturday 7th April, The Den
The winner takes it all! Well maybe not, but the winner of this one will certainly be in the driving seat when it comes to crashing into the Championship play-offs. Both sides are only one point outside the top six on 62 points, but it’s so close that the only thing separating the two is that 7th place Bristol City has scored more goals than 8th place Millwall.
The form between the two has been even over the last two meetings, with Millwall winning four, City winning three and three draws between the two sides. The last time the sides met in South London was on New Years Day in 2013, with Dany N’Guessan and Adam Smith being on the score sheet for the Lions that day.
Bristol City will be confident and know if results go their way then they can end the day in the play-off places, but then again, the same thing can be said about Millwall. This will be a close one….
LAST TIME OUT
Ipswich Two 2-2 MILLWALL: Millwall struggled to get out of first gear in this one and Ipswich Town managed to stop the Lions’ winning away run. Two Martyn Waghorn goals in between a Jake Cooper header and a George Saville rocket was enough to ensure both sides left Portman Road with a point, but Millwall’s unbeaten run continues.
Bristol City 0-1 BRENTFORD: An 80th minute goal from Bees danger man Maupay wrapped up the three points for the West London, who managed to stop Bristol City registering a single shot on target. It could’ve been more for Brentford if Josh Brownhill hadn’t managed to clear one off the goal line and Lee Johnson admitted in the post-match comments that Brentford were the better side.
Although this seems the best time in recent months to make changes, I think dropping players after one mediocre game away from home would be incredibly harsh. Yes, some of the players may not have been at their best at Portman Road, but I can’t see Neil Harris dropping any of his strongest side. I will expect early changes in the second half if there are signs of tiredness and fatigue, but the same eleven that has contributed to such a fantastic run will start this one.
Bristol City (4-4-1-1):
Callum O'Dowda and Matty Taylor could possibly be back in contention for the Robins with late fitness tests for both. Lee Johnson has called this the most important game his side will play in their remaining six fixtures so he won’t be resting any players for this one.
KEY BATTLE: GEORGE SAVILLE (MILLWALL) VS. JOSH BROWNHILL (BRISTOL CITY)
George Saville has proved with his recent early goals and top-class finish against Ipswich Town that when he wants to turn it on, it is impossible to play against him. He has bags of energy, gritted determination and undoubted skill and can change a game in a flash. Brownhill is another player who although can play wide, will drift in and try to nullify the Millwall midfielder.
Can’t change a winning team?
There’s a saying if it’s not broken, don’t fix it and apart from a slight hiccup away at Portman Road, Millwall have been in wonderful form. The visit at the Tractor Boys did seem to suggest some tiredness in the ranks and Neil Harris has hinted at making changes, but I suspect Chopper will stick with the same line-up but make early second half substitutions.
Are Bristol City punching above their weight too?
Some fans of Bristol City fans are in a similar position to Millwall, with many wondering how a team who have just scraped survival in the English second tier are now just outside the play-offs. Although recent form has seen them drop out of the top six, it only takes a few positive results to get them back in the mix.
PREDICTION: MILLWALL 1-1 BRISTOL CITY
Both sides will be eager to win this one, but also eager not to lose and this could lead to both sides cancelling each other out. City’s +11 goal difference and 45 goals in 40 games shows they know where the back of the net is, but as we know The Den is a fortress and with their 12th man behind them Millwall are always dangerous. Come on you Lions!