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Match Previews

Preview | Millwall v Bradford City

31 October 2015

All you need to know about Saturday's game

Millwall host Bradford City on Saturday aiming to end a five-year wait and record a fourth successive League One win at The Den.

You have to go back as far as the 2009/10 season to find the last time The Lions enjoyed a quartet of League victories on home soil when Southend United (2-0), Norwich City (2-1), Exeter City (1-0) and Hartlepool United (1-0) were defeated in what ultimately proved to be a successful campaign ending in promotion for The Lions.

Following a slow start to the current campaign, during which Neil Harris' charges lost all four of their opening matches at The Den, Millwall have now picked up nine points from a possible nine at home and also brushed aside Northampton in the JPT.

The incentive of three points on Saturday is an obvious one for a Lions side looking to push into the top six, but there is also the little matter of revenge too, following last season's FA Cup exit at the hands of Phil Parkinson's Bantams.

However Bradford have recovered from a sluggish start to the season and come down to south east London on the back of a four-match unbeaten run, during which they have enjoyed successive away wins at Rochdale (3-1) and Doncaster (1-0).

What the managers say

Neil Harris: "Under Phil Parkinson, Bradford have become a real force once again in League and Cups, as we found to our cost at their place last season.

"We will have to play much better than we did on Tuesday night because this will be a tough physical battle between two sides who are improving after slow starts to our respective seasons, and who have our sights on breaking into that top six as soon as possible. 


"We are just finding a little bit of stability. The League table is starting to take shape a little bit but we are not stupid enough to think 'right that is it, we are in amongst it now'. We have to earn the right to climb up the table.


"I keep talking about small steps. We are building and we are a young group, not just in age but also in terms of coming together. We are enjoying it but we have a long way to go and are nowhere near the finished article. We have so much improvement left in us and that just takes time."


Phil Parkinson: "Playing Wigan, Millwall and Blackpool – three teams who came down – are a great test for us. Last week it felt at times that we were playing a Championship team and Millwall are the same.

"We are going to have go down there and really prove our mettle.

"When we played Millwall last season they were in the Championship and we were in League One. When the draw came out, everybody thought it was a terrible one for us. But our attitude was spot on – and it has to be the same.

"Going down to the Den, you have got to be ready. As Doncaster found out, if you don't start well then you will get punished."

Team news

Millwall will be forced to make at least one change to the team that lined up against Doncaster Rovers in midweek with midfielder Ben Thompson sidelined after picking up his fifth booking of the season in that match.

Ben, 20, misses one game but will be eligible for selection for The Lions' FA Cup First Round tie at home to AFC Fylde the following Saturday.

Fellow midfielder Shaun Williams (back) will be assessed ahead of kick-off but a decision on his availability will not be made just yet.    

Saturday's Den encounter could also see striker Lee Gregory again partner Steve Morison up front for The Lions. Gregory's return to the starting line-up five games ago has coincided with a run of four wins and a draw for Millwall during which he has scored twice.

Bradford City manager welcomes back Billy Clarke and Josh Morris from injury, but has a trio of players rated doubtful for tomorrow's game.

Both Billy Knott (knee) and Tony McMahon (calf) sustained injuries in the Bantams' 1-1 draw with Wigan last weekend, whilst Kyel Reid has returned to training following a bout of tonsillitis, but the Millwall game could be a touch too soon.

Goalkeeper Joe Cracknell has been recalled from his loan at Scarborough following the departure of Brad Jones from the club in the earlier part of the week.

Head to head

Saturday's game will be the 40th encounter between The Lions and Bantams - and it is just over nine months since the two sides last faced each other on a wet and windy night at Valley Parade in an FA Cup Third Round replay. 

On that occasion it proved to be one of those nights where if it could go wrong, it did go wrong, and Mark Beevers' dismissal with just five minutes on the clock left The Lions facing an uphill battle in a match they went on to lose 4-0.

Overall in the previous 39 matches, Millwall have won 16 with 14 games drawn and Bradford victorious in the other nine fixtures. 

Tickets

Lions fans can purchase their ticket on the day of the game right up to kick-off at The Den (3pm). The Millwall Ticket Office opens at 10am.

Poppy Appeal

There will be a bucket collection for the Poppy Appeal at The Den on Saturday with members of the Royal British Legion and their helpers, many of whom are Lions fans, shaking buckets and giving out poppies in advance of Remembrance Day on 11th November.

As always, everyone connected with Millwall Football Club is pleased and proud to support those who have served and continue to serve our country in the armed forces. The money raised by this annual collection nationwide helps provide care and facilities for those who have paid a heavy price in the line of duty so please give generously.

Coverage

Unable to make it to the game? As ever Lions PlayerHD will be bringing you full match commentary so you can keep up-to-date with all the action from The Den. To tune in click here.

You can also follow updates via @MillwallFC, the club's official Twitter account.

Betting

Sky Bet have priced Millwall 6/5 for the win, Bradford at 11/5 and the draw priced at 12/5.

Steve Morison, so close to grabbing a first ever hat-trick for The Lions on Tuesday, is priced at 100-1 to grab three against the Bantams, with other specials including Lee Gregory at 11/2 to score the first goal of the game and George Saville 9/2 to score his first goal in a Millwall shirt.

Find a comprehensive list of odds on the game by clicking here.

Tweets by @MillwallFC

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