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Match Previews

Match Preview: Watford

11 April 2014

All you need to know about Saturday's clash

Saturday's clash with Watford at The Den could prove to be a cracker with both sides committed to a passing game and equally desperate for three points for different reasons. 

Manager views

Following Tuesday's excellent 1-0 victory at Wigan - four days after a 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest - Lions boss Ian Holloway remains as positive as ever that his side can defy the odds and avoid the drop to League One.

Ollie said: "I need you (the fans) to help ease the pressure by keeping encouraging the boys. Our last two performances have been 'fear free' and that has been crucial. We need to be 'fear free' again on Saturday and if we are we can get another vital result against a team who are very capable of passing you off the pitch if you let them. We still have a mountain to climb but we've now given ourselves a fighting chance of reaching that summit."

You can view a snippet of Ollie's pre-matchLions Playerinterview below:


To view the above interview in full, subscribe to Lions Player here

Team news

Lions boss Ollie may only have to make one enforced change to his team on Saturday. Ed Upson picked up his 10th booking of the season at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night and faces a two match ban, opening the door for either Jimmy Abdou or Shaun Williams to return to the starting line-up.

Tuesday's matchwinner Carlos Edwards, forced off at half-time with a niggle, is not as badly injured as first feared and could feature against Watford. With only Danny Shittu and Richard Chaplow remaining in the treatment room, Ollie has plenty of selection options in all positions but is unlikely to make significant changes to a winning team.
Watford defender Marco Cassetti is suspended after picking up his 10th yellow card of the season. Cristian Battocchio (knee), Lloyd Doyley (knee) and Park Chu-Young (toe) are all likely to miss out. However both striker Fernando Forestieri (toe) and defender Fitz Hall (Achilles tendon) are set to return to the squad.


Form

After back-to-back away victories against Forest and Wigan, Millwall have given themselves a fighting chance of clawing their way out of the Championship drop zone, having looked dead and buried a fortnight ago. But Lions boss Ollie believes three more wins from the remaining five games could be enough and says the home matches against Watford and Doncaster in particular, will be crucial.

For their part, Watford know this is a must-win game if they are to emulate last season's achievement of reaching the Play-Offs. Too many points dropped away from Vicarage Road have left The Hornets seven points adrift of sixth spot, but with a game in hand on all above them.

Now unbeaten in their last four outings, Beppe Sannino's men crushed Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 on their previous awayday, having drawn nine and lost five of the previous 14 fixtures on the road.

Saturday's visitors won the reverse fixture 4-0 at Vicarage Road on Boxing Day, in what proved to be Steve Lomas' final match as Millwall manager, and in Troy Deeney have a man in rich goalscoring form, having found the net in the last four outings to take his season's tally to 22.

However, Ollie's charges, with Alan Dunne paired alongside Mark Beevers outstanding in the heart of the defence in the last two games, have shown a much greater resilience since conceding that sickening late equaliser against Blackburn two weeks ago

Head-to-head

The two sides have met on 97 previous occasions, of which Millwall have won 41 and Watford 30. The remaining 26 games have ended all square.

An 83rd-minute goal from  Shaun Batt helped The Lions to a crucial thre points when the two teams last met at The Den on 16th April 2013 - a victory that proved key in Millwall's battle to avoid relegation. However Watford have the better stats in recent years winning five of the last seven meetings, including a 4-0 success against a 10-man Lions at Vicarage Road on Boxing Day.



Live coverage
Full match commentary will be available on Lions Player from 3pm (the game kicks off at 3.07pm).  

You can also keep up to date with the action as it happens on The Wall and on the club's official Twitter account @MillwallFC. Join the conversation by using our matchday hashtag #MFCvWFC in your tweets.  

Betting

Sky BetFor a comprehensive list of odds on the game, visit

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