This weekend sees Neil Harris' Millwall welcome high-flying West Bromwich Albion in this English Football League Championship clash.
After narrowly being defeated by Leeds United last weekend at Elland Road, the run towards the end of the season doesn't get any easier for the South London side. With West Brom currently sitting comfortably in the play-offs in fourth place, the Baggies will be looking to close the six-point gap on the top two and make a final push towards the automatic promotion spots. Although there were positives to take from the loss in Yorkshire, Millwall are still nervously close to the relegation zone and will also be hoping they can secure the three points and take a step towards Championship safety.
Due to promotion and relegation experienced by both, the meetings between the two sides have been sparse over the years. Millwall slightly edge the league head-to-heads between the two with thirteen wins to West Brom's eleven and there are also nine draws. The earlier meeting at The Hawthorns saw the home side run out 2-0 victors and Neil Harris will be hoping this scoreline isn't repeated at The Den.
Haven't we met before?...
Millwall 1-1 West Bromwich Albion, Monday 12th April 2004 – It was Andy Johnson who equalised for the visitors in the second half after Danny Dichio's first half header put the Lions in front. The Baggies were lucky to secure the point after having both Jason Koumas and Thomas Gaardsoe sent off, but could have taken the win when Lloyd Dyer unleashed a long range effort from 25-yards, but his effort could only bounce off of Andy Marshall's crossbar.
Shane Ferguson continues his three-match ban after his red card in the clash with Brighton and Murray Wallace and Tom Bradshaw will also miss this game with injury.
West Brom caretaker manager, James Shan will look to keep with the same side that won the Midlands derby with Birmingham, but Hal Robson-Kanu Kieran Gibbs and Tosin Adarabioyo will be looking for recalls.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
Eyebrows were raised when Dwight Gayle was allowed to join the Baggies on a season-long loan from Newcastle United, but the striker has proven that he is still a dangerous footballer in the Championship. A prolific goal scorer at both Crystal Palace and Newcastle before joining West Brom, Gayle already has scored seventeen goal this season and was also on the score sheet when the two sides met back in September, and he will be looking to add to this impressive tally in South Bermondsey.
WHO ARE YA?
For this week;s 'Who are ya?', we sit down with London Baggies, the West Brom supporters from the capital. This week we ask the guys what they think of the season so far, what they think of the sacking of Darren Moore and how they think the game will go.
1. Both Swansea and Stoke have struggled since their relegation from the Premier League so it must be nice to be in the mix for the play-offs with only a few games left. What have you made of the season so far?
We’ve underachieved with the squad we have, hopefully we can play to our potential for the rest of the season
2. Obviously there have been questions as to why Darren Moore was sacked recently. What were your thoughts on the sacking and more importantly, what do you think of Darren Moore?
As a man he’s one in a million, as a manager not a clue.
3. Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle are on absolute fire at the moment and have 37 goals between them in all competitions. Just how good have the two been this season?
They’ve had moments, but both could have been better. Solid 7.
4. Prior to the earlier game this season, the Baggies hadn’t faced the Lions since the 2003/04 campaign. Are those at the Hawthorns looking forward to a visit to The Den?
It’s a ground tick for quite a few fans and being London Baggies we all have Millwall friends.
5. Which player(s) do Millwall need to look out for?
I like the look of Cooper.
6. What do you think the score will be?
PREDICTION: MILLWALL 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
West Brom are flying and have two of the most dangerous strikers in the division who are a test for most defenders at this level, but with Championship survival and a packed home ground behind them, I can see Millwall matching their superior opposition. Although the Baggies are a danger up front, the fifty goals they have conceded in the league this season shows they are susceptible to their opponent's attacks, so I can see a score draw in this one.
Come on you Lions.