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Match Previews

Preview | Millwall v Blackpool

4 March 2016

All you need to know about Saturday's game

Millwall manager Neil Harris takes his charges into action against Blackpool at The Den aiming to extend an impressive run that has seen The Lions move into the League One Play-Off places having lost just once in the last 10 outings. 

Chopper's side have quietly edged their way up the League One table after a mixed start to the campaign, and are now sitting fifth, three points clear of seventh-placed Barnsley and also eight points shy of the automatic promotion places.

Blackpool visit The Den with confidence boosted following a battling 1-1 draw at Chesterfield in midweek. Although Ian McDonald's side are currently fourth from bottom, they are just two points off safety and shown encouraging signs that the team have enough quality and spirit to prevent back-to-back relegations.

Saturday's match is also the fourth annual 'Jimmy's Day' at The Den, which is a chance to remember Lions fan Jimmy at his beloved football club. The event is very special this year with families who have lost their loved ones to violence uniting on the day.

What the managers say

Neil Harris: "
Blackpool are a tough, hard working team who are battling for points themselves and will be determined to make life very difficult for us. But we have now found a level of consistency which, if we can continue in this vein, will make us a force here at The Den once more. 

"The support of our fans will be vital, just as it was in the Peterborough and Wigan games here. The players genuinely appreciate the vocal encouragement as they strive to become a good Millwall team that you enjoy watching."

Ian McDonald: "It's not very nice when you've been on a bit of a losing run like us, but we can take a lot of heart from our performance against Chesterfield on Tuesday night. We created a lot of chances and scored an unbelievable goal and although it was a good point, we were a bit disappointed not to have won.

"Millwall is going to be a good game. We go there knowing that we have to try and pick up as many points as we can. They have a good home record, have some height in the team and try to exploit it. But we're going there in good spirit after a fantastic performance at Chesterfield."

Team news

Millwall manager Neil Harris will be unable to call on the services of left-back Joe Martin, who picked up his 10th booking of the campaign against Wigan Athletic on Tuesday and must now serve a two-game suspension.

Shane Ferguson is the most obvious replacement to drop back into defence, which in turn will open up a space on the left side of midfield. Aiden O'Brien and Fred Onyedinma will be vying to make a first-team return, with U21 prospect Kris Twardek also pushing for inclusion in the senior squad.

Ed Upson (hamstring) will be assessed having missed the last three games, whilst Shaun Cummings and Tony Craig remain long-term absentees.

Blackpool boss Ian McDonald welcomed defender Lloyd Jones back to training this week after the 20-year-old sustained knee and ankle ligament damage in September.

The return of Jones, on a season-long loan from Liverpool, is timely as David Ferguson is suspended following his midweek red card against Chesterfield.

Although Clark Robertson is set to step in and fill the vacant left-back berth, Jones will now bolster the defensive options even if it is in terms of possibly taking his place on the bench.

One player set to make his first appearance for Blackpool this weekend is midfielder Liam Smith, who has joined the club on loan from Newcastle United until the end of the season.

Smith, 20, is yet to make a senior start for the Premier League club, but goes straight into Pool's squad for Saturday's Den clash.

Tickets

You can purchase tickets for the game right up until kick-off from the Millwall ticket office, which opens at 10am on Saturday matchdays. Full details here.

Head to head

The Tangerines and Lions have met on 47 previous occasions and Blackpool just edge the stats with 16 wins to Millwall's 14 in all competitions. The remaining 17 matches have finished all square.

Millwall have certainly enjoyed greater success on home soil, losing just once to Blackpool in the previous 16 encounters at The Den, both old and new, when a brace from Tom Ince clinched a 2-0 victory for the Tangerines in August 2012.

Last season goals from the two Scotts - McDonald and Malone - saw The Lions to a 2-1 home win in a game in which Nile Ranger scored his first goal for Blackpool.

Last time we met

Jack Redshaw's late penalty rescued struggling Blackpool a point against 10-man Millwall at Bloomfield Road.

Seasiders striker Mark Cullen had a shot tipped onto the crossbar by Jordan Archer, before Mark Beevers volleyed the visitors ahead from close range.

Aidan O'Brien hit the side netting for The Lions after the break but Redshaw equalised from the spot after Carlos Edwards had been sent off for a foul on Bright Osayi-Samuel.

Blackpool: Doyle, White, Robertson, Aldred, Ferguson, Cameron Osayi-Samuel, Potts, Norris, McAlister (Rivers, 68mins), Cullen (Thomas (68mins), Redshaw. Subs not used: Herron, Dunne, Osayi-Samuel, Cubero Loria, Letheren.

Millwall: Archer, Edwards, Craig, Beevers, J.Martin, O'Brien, Saville, Williams (Thompson, 50mins), Ferguson (Cummings, 83mins), Morison, Gregory (Onyedinma, 63mins). Subs not used: Forde, L.Martin, Webster, Pavey.

Betting

Millwall are 4/6 on favourites with Sky Bet to earn all three points, while a Blackpool victory can be backed at 9/2 and a draw priced at 13/5.

For these odds and many more ahead of the game, visit Sky Bet.

Coverage

Full match commentary will be available on Lions PlayerHD from around 2.50pm.

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

Tweets by @MillwallFC


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