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Preview: Charlton Athletic vs. Millwall - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship clash between South London rivals Charlton and Millwall, including team news and predicted lineups.

Charlton Athletic will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run since returning to Championship action when they host South London rivals Millwall on Friday evening.

The Addicks have collected seven points from a possible nine since the restart to move clear of the dropzone, while Millwall's playoff hopes are fading following a three-match winless run.

Match preview

Charlton Athletic's Darren Pratley celebrates scoring against QPR on June 27, 2020© Reuters

The three-month hiatus clearly came at the perfect time for Charlton, who had lost three games on the spin to slip into the relegation zone before the lockdown.

Since the Championship resumed last month, though, Lee Bowyer's side have beaten Hull City and Queens Park Rangers 1-0, as well as earning a good point away at Cardiff City.

That stalemate in South Wales on Tuesday in a game of few chances moves Athletic four points clear of the drop, though 22nd-place Hull City have a game in hand to play.

Safety is by no means guaranteed just yet, then, but Bowyer's men are in a far better position now than they were just a couple of weeks ago.

Millwall, by comparison, are worse off than they were during the coronavirus-enforced break, having slipped down to 11th place.

Millwall boss Gary Rowett on February 15, 2020© Reuters

The Lions lost 3-2 at home to Derby County in their first game back and the played out a couple of draws with Barnsley and Swansea City.

Mason Bennett's first-half goal gave Millwall the lead, but Rhian Brewster's free kick, which went in via keeper Bartosz Bialkowski, ensured that it was honours even at The Den.

Boss Gary Rowett is refusing to give up hope of making the top six, with only a four-point gap to make up over their remaining eight matches of this elongated campaign.

Millwall have had a mixed time of things on their travels this season, placing them exactly midway in the away form table, having only won back-to-back once all term.

The Lions have a great record against Friday's opponents, however, going 11 games without defeat in this fixture since March 1996 - a run that includes a 2-1 victory in November's reverse match.

Charlton Athletic's Championship form: LLLWWD

Millwall's Championship form: DDWLDD

Team News

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in action for Millwall on August 27, 2019© Reuters

Millwall's goalscorer against Swansea may sit this one out, with Rowett confirming after the match that Bennett was substituted due to a back problem.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is also a confirmed absentee, putting pressure on the likes of Jed Wallace and Tom Bradshaw to continue performing.

Charlton remain without long-term absentee Jonathan Leko, while Sam Field had to be replaced early on in the stalemate with Cardiff.

Bowyer reverted to a back five at the Cardiff City Stadium and it remains to be seen whether he will stick with those tactics.

Either way, versatile defender Deji Oshilaja is one of those pushing for inclusion for Friday's derby clash.

Charlton possible starting lineup:
Phillips; Lockyer, Pearce, Sarr; Lapslie, Cullen, Field, Forster-Caskey, Doughty; Green, Aneke

Millwall possible starting lineup:
Bialkowski; Hutchinson, Cooper, Wallace; Romeo, Woods, Williams, Ferguson; Wallace, Bradshaw, Mahoney

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We say: Charlton Athletic 1-1 Millwall

Charlton have been in better form than their local rivals since returning to Championship action, collecting seven points to Millwall's two. The Lions do not tend to lose this fixture, however, and we are backing them to take a point from their trip to The Valley on Friday.

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Millwall boss Gary Rowett on February 15, 2020
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