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Millwall logo
Championship | Gameweek 37
Mar 9, 2024 at 3pm UK
The Den
Birmingham logo

1 - 0

Tanganga (90')
Leonard (64'), Bryan (87')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Buchanan (90+6')

Preview: Millwall vs. Birmingham City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Millwall and Birmingham City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both scrapping for their second-tier lives near the foot of the league standings, a rejuvenated Millwall side will welcome Birmingham City to The Den on Saturday afternoon in the Championship.

The Lions were forced to share the spoils at Blackburn Rovers in the week, whilst Blues produced a late comeback to earn a point from playoff-chasing Hull City.

Match preview

Gillingham manager Neil Harris before the match on April 18, 2023© Reuters

Since the arrival of Neil Harris back to the Millwall managerial hotseat, the Lions have collected seven points from three matches against Premier League hopefuls Southampton, Watford and Blackburn, whilst having an average of just 27% possession across that trio of contests.

Consequently, those of a certain footballing view will argue that Millwall are back to their effective best following a departure from their hard-to-beat values under Joe Edwards, although better care with the ball would have allowed them to collect all three points on Tuesday night.

Netting his maiden goal for the Lions - and his first in over a year following an injury-riddled 12 months - Burnley loanee Michael Obafemi scored off the bench at Ewood Park in the second period, but Rovers' leading marksman Sammie Szmodics was able to bag his 20th of the Championship term to force a share of the spoils.

After collecting just three points from seven second-tier matches before his arrival, 46-year-old Harris is taking the glass-half-full view of the Blackburn draw, with his Millwall troops lifting themselves up to 18th in the league standings, two points ahead of Stoke City in 22nd.

Back-to-back home defeats to Kieran McKenna's Ipswich Town and fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday in February signalled the end of Edwards's time as Lions boss, but Millwall were victorious in their most-recent fixture at The Den on March 2, when a third-minute Zian Flemming goal was enough to defeat Valerien Ismael's Watford.

Birmingham City's Jordan James celebrates scoring their first goal on December 18, 2023© Reuters

Entering the field of play during the final 10 minutes at the MKM Stadium on Tuesday night for his 306th competitive appearance as a Birmingham player, Lukas Jutkiewicz produced a trademark header to fire his side to a much-needed point against Liam Rosenior's Hull City.

Blues looked destined for a third-straight loss since the departure of Tony Mowbray to receive medical treatment when Ozan Tufan's right arm handed the hosts a first-half lead, but a tempting Alex Pritchard cross was met by the former Burnley striker to level the contest late on.

As much as Birmingham have looked to move away from their toxic relationship with the Championship relegation zone under ambitious American ownership, Saturday's visitors are facing one last scrap for survival before the club can, hopefully, enjoy an on-field transformation in the summer.

Mark Venus's side currently occupy 20th position in the second-tier standings after collecting one point in their last three matches, leaving Blues just a single point above Steve Schumacher's Potters, who lie in the highest of the relegation spots, but the Second City club have crucially played a game fewer than all of their relegation rivals.

Birmingham's biggest win of the 21st century arrived at The Den in January 2012, when a Marlon King brace - alongside goals from Curtis Davies, Chris Burke, Adam Rooney and a young Nathan Redmond - sealed a resounding 6-0 success for a side who had been knocked out of the Europa League a month earlier.

Millwall Championship form:

Birmingham City Championship form:

Team News

Birmingham City players look dejected on November 11, 2023© Reuters

Millwall are hopeful that Tom Bradshaw will be able to play a part for the club before the end of the campaign, with the striker expected to be out for up to eight weeks due to an Achilles injury.

After being rested from the start at Blackburn as advised by the Lions' sports science team, goalscorer Obafemi should come back into the XI at the expense of Aidomo Emakhu.

Harris is wary of the need to manage the Burnley loanee's minutes, though, with Kevin Nisbet's injury meaning that the Ireland international is the hosts' only available striking option.

Birmingham could be boosted by the return of Marc Roberts on the weekend, after the centre-back returned to training on Thursday following a calf injury.

The availability of the former Barnsley enforcer would ease Blues' defensive issues, with Dion Sanderson out for two more games after seeing red against Southampton last weekend.

Krystian Bielik has been ruled out until after the March international break with a stomach injury, increasing the likelihood that Emanuel Aiwu will continue in the visitors' backline in the capital.

Millwall possible starting lineup:
Sarkic; Leonard, Tanganga, Cooper, McNamara; Longman, Mitchell, Saville, Honeyman; Flemming, Obafemi

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Ruddy; Drameh, Aiwu, Buchanan, Laird; Dozzell, Paik, Miyoshi, James, Bacuna; Stansfield

SM words green background

We say: Millwall 1-1 Birmingham City

With both sides painfully aware of how big Saturday's match could be in the fight for survival, we are expecting a hard-fought battle between Millwall and Birmingham.

The Lions are enjoying a brilliant run of form under their new management, but we reckon that Blues can earn a point from their trip to the Den.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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