Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Previews

Play-Off preview | Millwall v Bradford City

20 May 2016

All you need to know about Friday night's game

Millwall are under no illusions that they will face the toughest test of their character and resilience this season when Bradford City look to overturn a two-goal deficit in tonight's League One Play-Off Semi-Final second leg at The Den (7.45pm). 

On paper, The Lions look to have put themselves in the driving seat after battling back from an early Tony McMahon penalty to secure a 3-1 first leg win last Sunday with first-half goals from Lee Gregory, Steve Morison and Joe Martin.

However Neil Harris' charges withstood a second-half onslaught from Phil Parkinson's side at the Coral Windows Stadium, and The Bantams will be confident of overturning the deficit.

Historically Bradford have an exceptional record of recovering from first leg defeats in the Play-Offs, having seen off both Blackpool and Burton Albion in recent years, the latter against whom they overhauled a two goal margin.

The Lions' camp this week has remained focused on not looking back at Sunday's victory, but concentrating on ensuring that at 'half-time' in this tie, Bradford are not offered a way back in.

With the prospect of a trip to Wembley and possible promotion to the Championship at stake for the aggregate winners of this Semi-Final, both teams still have it all to play for at The Den.

What the managers say

Neil Harris: "It is going to be an extremely difficult fixture, just as Sunday's was. Bradford got to 80 points in the League for a reason and that is because they are a very good side.

"Their performance in the second-half last week showed just how dangerous they can be when they put pressure on you in attack and we will need to be at our best to get any sort of positive result.

"We need to be mentally and physically tough and we have to compete like any real Millwall team would do in such circumstances. But the strength of our performance will depend upon not just the performance of the players on the pitch, but also the support from the stands."

Phil Parkinson: "Opportunities to get to Wembley and win promotion come few and far between in your career. That is why we will give it absolutely everything.

"We have to try and turn the Millwall crowd and make them edgy. We'll only do that with the way we play and by making it as difficult as possible.

"If Millwall are eventually the team to progress, then we want to make sure they've had to really earn it. We really worked hard to get into the Play-Offs and the beauty of them is that you get a second bite at the cherry.

"Everyone is expecting Millwall to go through, so we've got absolutely nothing to lose."

Team news

Millwall will again assess the fitness of top scorer Lee Gregory before kick-off, although Mahlon Romeo is definitely unavailable for selection as he serves the second of a three match suspension.

Carlos Edwards looks set to continue at right-back after slotting in to fill the vacant gap left by Romeo's absence in the first leg. Should he wish to tinker with his starting line-up, boss Harris has other options for that position in Sid Nelson, Tony Craig and Jimmy Abdou.

Shaun Cummings (knee) remains a long-term absentee. 

Bradford City could welcome back three key players for the Semi-Final second leg tie.

Striker James Hanson was sidelined last Sunday with a calf injury, and although noises from the Bradford camp suggest that the towering frontman will not recover in time, The Bantams will do everything possible to have Hanson involved at some stage of proceedings.

Likewise fellow forward Billy Clarke Clarke may be back in contention 10 days after surgery on a fractured cheekbone, but wearing a mask for protection. 

West Ham loanee Reece Burke, another absentee at the Coral Windows Stadium in the first leg, has been back in training this week after recovering from a groin injury and may well be handed an immediate return to the backline.

Head-to-head

This evening's game will be the 43rd encounter between The Lions and Bantams. Millwall edge the stats with 17 wins in the previous 42 outings, with 15 games drawn and Bradford victorious on the other 10 occasions.

The last two meetings featuring The Lions and Bantams in SE16 have finished with honours even; in the League last October there was little to choose between the sides as they slugged it out for a 0-0 draw whilst an FA Cup meeting in January 2015 finished 3-3 with a late Ricardo Fuller leveller securing a 3-3 result for Millwall.

Tickets for collection

Lions supporters are advised to arrive at The Den as early as possible to help avoid queuing ahead of kick-off (7.45pm).

Tickets are available for collection on Friday from the main ticket office (windows 1-10). All enquiries, please go to window 11.

Tickets for Monday's charity match

If you haven't already purchased your ticket for Monday night's 'Know The Score' charity match between a Millwall XI and Charlton XI then why not get yours now? It's a fabulous opportunity to watch some of your former Lions heroes such as Gary Alexander, Mark Phillips, Marvin Elliott, Matty Lawrence and Jimmy Carter face a Charlton team including Derek Hales, Mike Flanagan, Steve Gritt, Mark Kinsella, Peter Garland and Paul Gorman - and all for a great cause.

Full details here.

Betting

Sky Bet have Joe Martin, who scored Millwall's third goal with a sublime free-kick at the Coral Windows Stadium on Sunday, at 14/1 to score first or last against Bradford, with skipper Steve Morison 11/2 first or last and 6/4 to score any time.

Tony McMahon, whose early penalty handed Bradford the lead last weekend, is 12/1 to score first or last whilst former Lion Filipe Morais is 3/1 to hit the target against his old team with Jamie Proctor priced at 13/2 or 5/2 to score any time.

Sky Bet are offering all sorts of specials such as Gregory, Morais and James Hanson all to score (33/1), time of first goal, Millwall (11/2) and Bradford (12/1) to win both halves and total corners  priced under 10 (11/8), 10 or 11 (3/1) and over 11 (5/4).

For a wide range of betting odds look no further than Sky Bet by clicking on the link here

Coverage

For those not able to make it to The Den there will, as always, be full match commentary available to Lions PlayerHD subscribers. Join Deano Standing, Terry Smedley and Sam Brown as Millwall look to secure a passage through to the Play-Off Final.

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



Advertisement block