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Preview: Millwall vs. Derby County - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Millwall and Derby County meet at The Den on Saturday afternoon having each failed to win any of their last half a dozen games in the Championship.

Five draws during that run have kept Millwall in 13th position, but the visitors remain in last place and five points adrift of safety.


Match preview

Millwall manager Gary Rowett pictured in July 2020© Reuters

At one stage this season, Gary Rowett and his Millwall side looked capable of holding down a position in the playoffs with solid performances at both ends of the pitch.

The 3-0 defeat at home to Huddersfield Town on October 31 changed that, however, and the Lions are now without a win in their last seven outings.

Although Millwall were only denied a sixth draw in succession courtesy of Blackburn Rovers' last-gasp winner in midweek, the defeat could have a lingering effect.

Rowett will have concerns regarding an attack which has scored twice in a game on just one occasion in nine attempts, and only Jed Wallace has netted more than once in the Championship this season.

Millwall are blessed with plenty of options in the final third, but injuries and frequent rotation have left Rowett still searching for his perfect combination.

In his first two games in sole interim charge of Derby, Wayne Rooney has been just minutes away from recording a much-needed win for the Championship strugglers.

However, the late equalisers for Wycombe Wanderers and Coventry City have left Rooney and the Rams well off the pace ahead of an unfavourable run of matches.

Brentford, Stoke City and Swansea City follow the trip to the capital, and those fixtures only up the stakes for Rooney as he bids to earn a full-time managerial deal at Pride Park.

While the lack of goals is still a cause of concern, Derby have now conceded in the final 20 minutes in eight successive matches, a period stretching back to October 23.

Regardless of whether fitness or confidence is the issue, Rooney must find the solution if he is to be accepted as the long-term successor to Phillip Cocu.

Millwall Championship form: DDDDDL

Derby County Championship form: LLLLDD


Team News

Derby County's Wayne Rooney pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Rooney is expected to monitor the fitness of Krystian Bielik after the Pole came through just his second 90 minutes of the season against Coventry.

Providing that there are no late injury issues, Rooney may prefer to name the same starting XI in a bid to establish some continuity.

Matt Smith and Tom Bradshaw could return to the Millwall XI, replacing Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Troy Parrott in attack.

The rest of the team may stay the same with Shaun Williams keeping his place ahead of Ryan Leonard in midfield.

Millwall possible starting lineup:
Bialkowski; Hutchinson, Pearce, M.Wallace; Romeo, Woods, Williams, Malone; J.Wallace, Smith, Bradshaw

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Byrne, Wisdom, Clarke, Buchanan; Bielik, Bird; Knight, Holmes, Lawrence; Kazim-Richards


SM words green background

We say: Millwall 1-1 Derby County

If you want to see goals this weekend, this is not the game to watch. Millwall will sense an opportunity to get back on track, but Derby may improve away from home territory. With that in mind, we are predicting a low-scoring draw.


Top betting 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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Saturday's key events


ROWING
· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

SHOOTING
· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

CYCLING
· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

TENNIS
· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

SWIMMING
· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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