It’s a Good Friday afternoon fixture for Neil Harris’ Millwall as the Lions face West London side, mid-table Brentford, in this London derby.
A victory against the Bees would secure seven points from their last three games and would see Millwall take another step away from the relegation zone and towards Championship safety. Brentford are currently in 14th place and with no real promotion hopes and relegation fears, the Bees do not have as much to play for as the Bermondsey side.
The away side just edge the historic league head-to-head meetings between the two with twenty-three wins to Millwall’s twenty and twenty draws also. With the Lions just two points above the drop zone with seven games left to play, this is a huge game for Neil Harris’ side and there can’t be any slip ups.
Haven't we met before?...
Brentford 2-2 Millwall, Saturday 21st March 2015 - Goals from Lee Gregory and Aiden O’Brien had Millwall on course for a comfortable away win, but the Griffin Park outfit hadn’t read the script. Alex Pritchard’s converted penalty in the 85th minute gave the Bees hope before Moses Odubajo’s injury time equaliser broke Millwall hearts and left the Lions chance of Championship survival in tatters.
Shaun Hutchinson remains a doubt with illness and Tom Bradshaw remains Millwall’s only other long-term absentee. After being undefeated in the last two games, Neil Harris may look to stick with the same side that beat West Brom and drew with QPR.
Said Benrahma is out until the end of the season as he recovers from knee injury. David Bentley also remains in the treatment room due to shoulder injury alongside Yoann Barbet who is out with an ankle injury, but Rico Henry and Kamohelo Mokotjo could return to the squad.
THE ONE TO WATCH -
Neal Maupay has been in great form and is deadly in front of goal with twenty-six goals and eight assists this season. With three goals in his last three games including those against Derby County, Ipswich Town and Reading, Maupay is a clinical finisher who knows where the back of the net is and if on form could make it a long day for the Millwall defence.
WHO ARE YA?
For this week’s ‘Who Are Ya?’ we sit down with Dave Lane, a Brentford supporting publisher, fanzine editor and film maker. This week we ask what he thinks of the club’s topsy-turvy season, how he feels about leaving Griffin Park and which player(s) Millwall need to look out for.
1. It’s been a bit of a topsy-turvy season for the Bees hasn’t it? How has it been from a fan’s perspective?
It’s been a ‘so close to glory, yet a million miles away’ campaign in which the Bees have played some of the best football fans have ever seen at Griffin Park, yet away from home have been real wet lettuces. Two wins on our travels (to date) is a sorry state of affairs that has cost us a genuine push for the play-offs. Still, a fifth season at this level, and comfortable survival is an achievement we would have given our grans away for in years gone past.
2. Brentford saw popular manager Dean Smith leave during the season and Thomas Frank take over. After a shaky start it seems to have stabilised and settled, what is the fan’s thoughts on the manager? Will he be given a chance in the hot seat?
Many of us, including myself, had written Thomas off towards the end of the stinky run, however, and to the club’s credit, it seemed his fate was never in doubt from the powers that be. Frank has emerged from that episode well, although he needs to get more out of certain players next season - on our day we can beat any side in this division, and a fair few in the one above - consistency has been the weakness and whether he’ll be the man to take us to the next level, or not, only time will tell.
3. This season is bittersweet as it’ll be the last at Griffin Park, but are you excited about the move to the new ground?
I don’t think any long-standing Bees fan is genuinely excited about the move in all honesty… leaving Griffin Park will be a sad, emotional but ultimately proud day. Griffin Park is far from perfect, but it is a truly special home, which has hosted football in every division, and will retain a special place in all of our hearts long into the future. I’m getting upset even typing this to be honest.
4. Neal Maupay has been unplayable this season and has 26 goals for Brentford. Just how good has he been for you?
Neal is a great player to have on your side, but a right nasty piece of work at times for opponents. He’s maturing into a quality striker, one that could arguably play in the top flight, in the right team. He’s getting better and better… a tireless worker and very focussed. He’ll be of interest to other clubs this summer for sure.
5. Which player(s) do Millwall need to look out for?
Maupay, Watkins, Canos, Sawyers and DeSilva all have the ability to cause you big trouble up top… Said Benrahma is injured unfortunately.
6. What do you think the scores will be?
2-1 to Millwall… you want this more than us I reckon… we were ‘on the beach’ at Reading last weekend… and I think the side will have their eye on f***ing things up for the ‘Champions of Europe’ Leeds United on Monday!
PREDICTION: MILLWALL 1-0 BRENTFORD
This will be a close game and not many goals in it, but with the game being more important for the Lions, I can see Millwall nicking a 1-0 win and edging towards another season in the Championship.
Come on you Lions.