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Match Previews

Preview: Birmingham City v Millwall

10 February 2015

All you need to know about tonight's game

Millwall travel to Birmingham City this evening knowing that a victory could see The Lions leapfrog fourth from bottom Brighton and move out of the relegation zone.

Ian Holloway's side, who currently have 27 points, missed a great chance to overtake The Seagulls at the weekend after failing to beat 10-man Huddersfield Town. However defeats for Brighton (29pts), Leeds (32pts) and Charlton (33pts) leave The Lions within touching distance of those teams immediately above them in the Championship table.

Prior to Saturday's defeat by Huddersfield, Holloway's men had secured clean sheets against Reading (0-0) and Nottingham Forest (1-0) and he will be looking for a return to that solidity at St Andrews tonight.

What the managers say

Gary Rowett: "The players and staff won't be turning up expecting to just turn them over. Anyone who expects us to do that easily probably hasn't seen much of the Championship over the last 20 years. 

"I don't think people will assume we will roll Millwall over, they will know it's going to be a difficult game. We went to Blackpool, people said the same - and we lost. We have got to make sure that what we do well - we do really well. I will be looking at 'Can we start with more aggression than them? Can we start on the front foot more than them?'

"A lot of our game is about tempo, when we don’t play as well the tempo is not quite as good therefore it doesn’t take a genius to work out we want to start with good tempo and good energy." Read more from Rowett here.

Ian Holloway: "We have to move on now (from the Huddersfield game) and the team we are playing next have proved that you can do that very quickly.

"Birmingham have got a new manager in there who has brought in some new players and helped to galvanise the club.

"They have great athleticism in wide areas and up front, and the way they go about it is very solid. I'm told it has been a bit of a graveyard for us and that we haven't won there since the 1960s, but I don't believe in things like that." Read more from Holloway here

Team news

Millwall hope to welcome back Lee Martin to the first team squad after the winger missed Saturday's game against Huddersfield with a rib injury sustained in the opening quarter of an hour of The Lions 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest on 31st January.

Manager Ian Holloway could be tempted to tinker with his starting line-up, with Martyn Woolford, Lee Gregory and Ricardo Fuller - all second-half subs at the weekend - champing at the bit to be involved.

Defender Sid Nelson sits out the final game of his three-match suspension following his sending off against Reading. Paris Cowan-Hall (knee), Nicky Bailey (calf) and Carlos Edwards (knee) remain sidelined.

Blues boss Gary Rowett has no new injury problems and could include former Oldham defender Neal Eardley in his squad after the 26-year-old was recalled from his loan at Leyton Orient. Michael Morrison remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

Head-to-head

Millwall and Birmingham have met on 42 previous occasions and it is The Blues who hold the upper hand with 21 victories to just nine for The Lions in all competitions. Millwall haven't beaten Birmingham since a 2-0 success in April 1996 - a run of 15 matches without a win.

The most recent meeting was at The Den in September 2014 when the Lions ended up on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. In fact you have to go as far back as October 1968 to find the last time Millwall won at St Andrews - a 2-1 victory courtesy of goals from Derek Possee and John Gilchrist.

Betting

Find a comprehensive list of odds on the game with Sky Bet.

Coverage

Unable to make it to St Andrews? The Lions Player team will be bringing you full match commentary from 7.40pm. 

We will also have all of the usual updates on @MillwallFC, the club's official Twitter account. Get involved with the discussion before, during and after the game by tagging your tweets with #BCFCvMFC

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