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Match Previews

Preview: Blackpool v Millwall

9 January 2015

All you need to know about Saturday's crunch clash

Millwall will be looking to record a first win double of the season when Ian Holloway returns to former club Blackpool on Saturday.

The Lions recorded a 2-1 victory when the sides last met at The Den on 30th August courtesy of goals from Scott McDonald and Scott Malone, but have been beaten on their last three visits to Bloomfield Road.

Den boss Ollie is held in high regard by the Tangerines, having guided the club to the Premier League in his first full season as boss at Bloomfield Road - only the second ever manager to do so for the club.

Ollie's first return to his former club as Millwall manager last season ended in bitter disappointment when Ricardo Fuller, who now plays for The Lions, scored the only goal of the game to clinch a 1-0 win for the Tangerines.

However Ollie is determined to make sure that the result is different this time, and striker Ricardo, currently top of the scoring charts at The Den with five goals this season, will be looking to put one over his former club too.

Blackpool, managed by former Birmingham City and Huddersfield boss Lee Clark, have lost eight of their last 14 games in a run that has included one win and five draws. Clark's men currently sit bottom of the Championship with 14 points from their opening 24 games and with a goal difference of -23.
The Lions slipped into the Championship drop zone following the home defeat by Bournemouth on 28th December and have tasted victory just once in the last 11 fixtures, a 1-0 success at Brighton thanks to Lee Gregory's first-half strike.

What the management says

Ian Holloway: "This is a massive game and we need to try and keep some distance between us and them. There are 22 games left which is enough time to improve. Last season nobody gave us a chance when we went bottom of the table, but we showed what we can do by going unbeaten for eight games and staying up. It is important that we get that belief back. All it takes is a small winning run to get things going and we have both the games, and the time, to find some formhere." Read more from Ollie

Lee Clark:You've got to just deal with the game and not the situation. The extra pressure can hinder you more than help you. We all know what the end outcome has got to be come the end of the season, but this is a crucial game for us - they all are, every game now is cup final territory for us. It is the proverbial six-pointer and we know what we've got to do. It's a huge game, if we can we can win it then it puts pressure on them." "
Team news

Millwall will hand late fitness tests to Lee Gregory (back) and Mark Beevers (ankle) ahead of Saturday's Bloomfield Road clash. The duo missed last weekend's FA Cup tie with Bradford City, as did right-back Andy Wilkinson, who returns to the squad having been ineligible to play in the FA Cup.

Midfielder Shaun Williams serves the second of his four-match suspension whilst new signing Paris Cowan-Hall will have to wait to make his Millwall debut. The flying winger, who officially joined Millwall from Wycombe Wanderers six days ago, sustained a lower leg injury in training on Thursday following an accidental collision with a team-mate.

Left-back Dan Harding is, however, in line to make his first appearance in a Lions shirt having signed on loan from Nottingham Forest until the end of the season. Striker Stefan Maierhofer could also make his second 'debut' for Millwall, having agreed a short-term contract on Friday morning.
Former Lions midfielder Jamie O'Hara is expected to line up against his old club having penned a contract extension with Blackpool on Friday morning.

The Tangerines have further boosted their ranks by signing French striker Saer Sene, 28, on a deal until the end of the season. Sene had been playing for New York Red Bulls until last month, making eight appearances. 
New signing Grant Hall could also make his debut following his loan move from Tottenham. Head-to-head

Saturday's match will be the 46th meeting between the two clubs, and as it stands The Tangerines just edge the stats with 15 wins to Millwall's 14 in all competitions. The remaining 16 matches have finished all square.



Millwall's last success at Blackpool came back in the 2006/7 season when a Dave Brammer thunderbolt - coupled with sensational injury-time goal-line clearance from defender Richard Shaw - helped The Lions to a 1-0 victory.

The Tangerines edged to a 1-0 win the last time the two teams met in March when Ricardo Fuller - who now plays for The Lions - scored the only goal at Bloomfield Road.
Coverage

 from 2.55pm.Lions PlayerWe will have all the action covered with live match commentary on 

You can also follow live updates on the club's official Twitter account @MillwallFC and join in the conversation on matchday using #BFCvMFC

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