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Match Previews

Preview | Millwall v Port Vale

16 January 2016

All you need to know about Sunday's game

Millwall return to action aiming to secure a first win 'double' of the League One campaign when Port Vale visit The Den this Sunday (3pm).

The Lions ran out 2-0 victors at Vale Park when the two sides last locked horns back in September 2015 with goals from Mark Beevers and sub Lee Gregory clinching maximum points for Neil Harris' men.

Sunday's match is the first League One fixture on home soil since Boxing Day, and Millwall will be aiming to stop a run of four consecutive defeats at The Den.

Shaun Williams was on target on 28th November when Harris' men last won in SE16 with a 1-0 victory over Bury, and it was ironically Williams who was the match-winner earlier in the season against Peterborough United, bringing an end to a similar run of results by The Lions.

Port Vale have picked up six points from their last two matches and, like Millwall, have designs on pushing into the Play-Off places in the second half of the season.

Rob Page's Valiants seem to have put a sticky spell behind them during which they lost four out of five games, but have returned to winning ways with a brace of victories from their last two outings, seeing off Bury at home, and then Blackpool away, by a 1-0 scoreline.

What the managers say

Neil Harris: "We are currently on the fringes of the top six, as are our opponents, and the reason for that is we have so far failed to find the consistency required to be better placed.

"On so many occasions, as against Gillingham and Walsall for example, we have been excellent for periods, but not for long enough to get the wins we need.

"The challenge for us on Sunday, and for the rest of the season, is to find the balance between being defensively strong and difficult to break down, and getting bodies forward in numbers to hurt the opposition." Read more from Chopper here.

Rob Page: "We know it's going to be a tough place to go, we're not going to underestimate them at all but we know what we're capable of.

"Thankfully we have hopefully turned the corner with our away performances. I thought we were excellent against Blackpool. We were very disciplined defensively, but creative at the same time.

"We have got to take that into the game and if we do I am confident we will get the win." Read more from Page here

Team news

Millwall manager Neil Harris could tinker with his playing pack in a bid to find that winning combination on home soil once again.

Having secured maximum points last time out in League One at Oldham Athletic, Chopper is determined to ensure that his team provide an instant, positive response to Thursday night's JPT Den defeat by Oxford United.

The boss has no new injury concerns following that game, although with Sunday's match The Lions' third tough fixture in eight days, he could be tempted to freshen things up.

One man desperate to be involved is midfielder Jimmy Abdou, who if selected to face Port Vale, would become only the 25th player in Millwall's history to make 300 appearances for the club.

Port Vale are unlikely to make many, if any, changes to the team that secured a 1-0 victory at Blackpool last Saturday.

Midfielder Anthony Grant could be back in contention for a return to the squad, but may have to be content with a place on the bench. Grant's last senior action came on Boxing Day in a 1-0 defeat at Coventry City. His replacement, wily campaigner Michael Brown, has been in good form in the last two games which have both been won without a goal conceded.

Head-to-head

Sunday's Den encounter will be the 48th meeting between Millwall and Port Vale in all competitions, and whilst Vale hold the upper hand stats-wise, The Lions are desperate to record back-to-back wins against Rob Page's side having secured a 2-0 away success earlier this season.

The Valiants have won 21 of the previous 47 games between the two clubs against 16 victories for The Lions with 10 games finishing all square. Millwall have scored 60 goals in all, with Vale finding the back of the net on 72 occasions in previous encounters.

Last time we met

Mark Beevers and sub Lee Gregory struck second-half goals as Millwall maintained their early season unbeaten away record with a superb win at Vale Park on Tuesday 15th September.

Defender Beevers headed The Lions into a 57th-minute lead with his first goal of the season and Gregory made the points safe in injury-time with a perfectly placed penalty after he had been fouled by keeper Jak Alnwick.

Port Vale: Alnwick, Purkiss, Streete (Inniss 46), Duffy, Dickinson, Moore, Grant, Dodds (Leitch-Smith, 63mins), Andoh, Ikpeazu, Foley (McCourt, 83mins). Subs not used: Birchall, Johnson, Daniel, Lloyd.

Millwall: Archer, Edwards, Williams, Webster, Craig, Onyedinma (Ferguson, 76mins), Beevers, Upson, Abdou, Morison (Gregory, 67mins), O'Brien (Marquis, 83mins). Subs not used: Forde, Martin, Cowan-Hall, Thompson.

Coverage

Full match audio commentary will be broadcast on Lions PlayerHD. For details of how to tune in, please click here.

Regular updates, as ever, will also be posted via @MillwallFC, the club's official Twitter account.

Programme sale

In the build-up to kick-off on Sunday and immediately after the match, the programme shop, which is located to the right of the tickets for collection windows, will be selling a vast range of collectable editions from years gone by.

Starting from just 50p, those on sale include a rare programme for Millwall’s pre-season match against FC Porto in August 1994, amongst many others. Take a look!

Betting

Millwall are the odds-on favourites with Sky Bet at 5/6 for victory at home to Port Vale at the Den on Sunday afternoon. The visitors are 100/30 outsiders and the draw can be found at 5/2.
 
The Lions have scored exactly once in nine of their last 12 League games with the Valiants and Sky Bet offer 15/8 that they score just the one goal again in this clash.
 
You can also get 11/4 with Sky Bet for Millwall to win by a one-goal margin.

Tweets by @MillwallFC

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