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Match Previews

Preview: Millwall v Bradford City

3 January 2015

All you need to know about Saturday's FA Cup tie

Millwall entertain in-form Bradford City in the FA Cup Third Round at The Den on Saturday (3pm).

Phil Parkinson's Bantams are riding high on confidence at the moment following a superb unbeaten run that has yielded seven wins and two draws from their last nine starts

Five of those successes have come in their previous six outings to send Bradford up to fifth in the League One table.

Ian Holloway's Lions head into the game on the back of three straight defeats, including last Sunday's 2-0 loss at home to table-topping AFC Bournemouth.

What the managers say

Ian Holloway: "The FA Cup is a fantastic competition and one that can either help you gain some confidence or damage it further. Our approach to this game will dictate which way it goes for ourselves. Phil Parkinson has a team in very good form in League One, and some players who doubtless other clubs will be looking at during the transfer window, which is a price you pay for a bit of success. 

"They enjoyed a magnificent run to the Final of the League Cup a couple of years back and won promotion the same year, so it shows that one can be a help to the other, and that's what I'm hoping can be the case for ourselves." More from Ollie will feature in Saturday's edition of The Lion.

Phil Parkinson: "We want to play there in the positive way we have done all season. We never approach any game differently. We certainly won't be going down there to shut up shop. We never do.

"We feel we are at our best when we have real intent in our play. It's a good test for us as individuals and as a team. Ultimately every player wants to perform at the next level." Read more from Parkinson here

Team news

Ian Holloway will be without midfielder Shaun Williams, who starts a four-match ban after receiving his second red card of the season in Sunday's defeat by Bournemouth. Andy Wilkinson, currently on loan from Stoke City, has not been given permission by his parent club to play for The Lions, with Alan Dunne most likely to fill the position.

Holloway will also be missing a trio of key players with Mark Beevers (ankle), Lee Gregory (back) and Scott Malone (hip) all ruled out.   

New signing Paris Cowan-Hall is also ineligible to play for Millwall on Saturday, having already played in the FA Cup competition this season for former club Wycombe Wanderers. Nicky Bailey and Carlos Edwards, remain sidelined.

Rookie defender Sid Nelson, who made his full senior debut for Millwall six days ago, could be named in the starting line-up again just 48 hours after his 19th birthday. Sid has already faced the Bantams in the Cup previously, having skippered the young Lions to a 3-0 FA Youth Cup win at Valley Parade last season.

Bradford boss Parkinson looks likely to be without Irish duo Billy Clarke and Mark Yeates, who are both suffering with knee problems, whilst former Lions player Filipe Morais (dead leg) and Andrew Davies (hamstring) face late fitness tests ahead of Saturday's game.

Head-to-head

Saturday's match marks the 38th meeting between Millwall and Bradford City - and four of those came in the 2006/7 campaign. The last time the teams locked horns was on 5th May 2007, when Darren Byfield and Tony Craig helped The Lions to a 2-2 draw at Valley Parade having shared a 0-0 draw at The Den in the league earlier in the campaign. That same season also saw The Lions and Bantams pitched against each other in the FA Cup, with Millwall edging to a 1-0 replay win at The Den courtesy of Nathan Doyle's 114th-minute own goal after the initial Second Round tie in Yorkshire had finished goal-less.

Overall The Lions are ahead stats-wise, with 16 victories to Bradford's eight, and the remaining 13 fixtures finishing all-square. The Bantams have won once in the last 10 outings against Millwall when a last-minute goal from Michael Branch clinched an amazing 3-2 victory back in November 2003 after Tim Cahill and Nick Chadwick had fired Millwall 2-0 up within 24 minutes.

Betting

For a comprehensive list of odds on the game click here.

Coverage

Unable to make it to The Den? You can join the Lions Player team, who will once again be bringing you full match commentary from 2.55pm. 

You can also follow live updates on @MillwallFC, the club's official Twitter account. Join in the conversation before, during and after the game by tagging your tweets with #MFCvBCAFC - Saturday's matchday hashtag.

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