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Preview: Millwall vs. Middlesbrough - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Millwall vs. Middlesbrough - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Millwall and Middlesbrough, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Playoff hopefuls Middlesbrough travel to Millwall in the Championship on Saturday, hoping to secure their fourth league win in five games and stay in the hunt for a top-six finish.

The hosts are one of only four teams in the division to have claimed just four home victory so far this campaign, and face a Boro outfit who have won two of their last three away matches.

Match preview

Millwall were unable to build on last weekend's win over Derby County as they let a two-goal lead slip against Queens Park Rangers, losing 3-2 away at Loftus Road on Wednesday night.

Jed Wallace and Mason Bennett gave the Lions a first-half lead, however the hosts fought back after the break, with a late header from Jordy de Wijs turning the game on its head to snatch all three points from their London rivals.

Manager Gary Rowett bemoaned his side's woeful defending in the second half and that they were punished for making "three really bad mistakes", that ultimately cost them the game.

Millwall remain in 10th place, but their hopes of securing a playoff spot are now slipping away, with an 11-point gap separating them from the top six.

The Lions head into Saturday's clash with a poor record against Middlesbrough in recent seasons, after failing to win any of their last six league meetings against them.

Millwall are looking to avoid losing consecutive home league games for the first time since March 2019 under former head coach Neil Harris.

Middlesbrough secured their third league win in four matches as they eased past 10-man Preston North End with a 2-0 home victory on Tuesday night.

An own goal from Jordan Storey and a strike from Marcus Tavernier either side of half time helped Neil Warnock's men claim all three points at the Riverside Stadium.

That result keeps Boro in the race for a playoff place and they are just five points behind sixth-placed Reading, with nine Championship matches left to play.

Warnock's side now face four consecutive league games against teams currently in the top 10, with Saturday's trip to Millwall followed by fixtures against Barnsley, Bournemouth and Watford.

Middlesbrough convincingly beat Millwall earlier this season, winning 3-0 on home soil, and another victory against them this weekend would see Boro complete their first league double over the Lions since the 2014-15 campaign under former boss Aitor Karanka.

Millwall Championship form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Middlesbrough Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Millwall's George Evans has featured eight times as a defender since joining the club in January, but has started the last two matches in midfield and could keep his place there this weekend alongside Ryan Woods and Ben Thompson.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson will be hoping to force his way back into the first XI after starting the last two matches on the bench.

Middlesbrough boss Warnock could stick with a 4-3-3 system that he has used in the last two fixtures, with Paddy McNair, Sam Morsy and Jonny Howson all set to feature in a three-man midfield.

Winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing will be pushing to start ahead of either Yannick Bolasie or Neeskens Kebano, after having a positive impact as a substitute in recent games.

Millwall possible starting lineup:
Bialkowski; Hutchinson, Pearce, Cooper; Romeo, Evans, Thompson, Woods, Malone; Wallace, Bennett

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Bettinelli; Fisher, Fry, Hall, Bola; McNair, Morsy, Howson; Bolasie, Akpom, Kebano

We say: Millwall 1-2 Middlesbrough

Millwall have drawn 16 Championship matches this season – twice as many as Middlesbrough – with 10 of those at The Den, and the Lions will be hoping to claim all three points against the visitors to end their poor run of form on home soil.

However, Warnock is keen to ensure that his side stay in the hunt for a playoff spot, and having scored in each of their last 16 meetings with Millwall, we expect Boro to find the net once again on Saturday and claim a narrow victory.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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