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

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

Middlesbrough welcome Millwall to the Riverside Stadium on Saturday with both sides struggling for form in the Championship.

Neil Warnock's men will be hoping to bounce back from consecutive defeats against a side who are winless in their last nine league outings.


Match preview

Boro boss Neil Warnock on September 11, 2020© Reuters

The Boro currently sit in 11th position in the Championship table after only picking up three points from their last four matches.

Many tipped promotion specialist Warnock to weave his magic once again in the North-East, but Middlesbrough's recent form has seen them slip six points behind the playoff places.

Goals have been hard to come by so far for Middlesbrough, with just 16 strikes making them the lowest scorers in the top half of the table, but they have been fairly solid at the back. Just 14 goals conceded means they have a tighter defence than table-toppers Norwich City.

The 2006 UEFA Cup finalists have not been in the top-flight since 2017 and were amongst the favourites to return to the Premier League in 2020-21.

A 3-0 loss to Preston North End last time out damaged those prospects, and Warnock's charges will be keen to get their season back on track at the weekend.

Millwall are winless in their last five outings against their upcoming opponents, a statistic that Gary Rowett will not want to hear as he aims to stop the rot in East London.

They currently lie in the bottom half of the table after Tuesday night's draw with Queens Park Rangers made it nine games without a win, a run that has seen The Lions score just four goals.

Rowett's men have not won since October, and their poor form has seen them fall to 17th position, although they are still nine points clear of the relegation places.

Going to a side who are also struggling to pick up three points and put the ball in the back of the net could be the perfect opportunity for the capital club to revive their faltering campaign.

Middlesbrough Championship form: LWLWLL

Millwall Championship form: DDDLLD


Team News

Middlesbrough's Duncan Watmore celebrates scoring against Swansea City on December 2, 2020© Reuters

Middlesbrough will once again be without Ashley Fletcher and summer signing Grant Hall, with both still suffering from long-term injury problems.

That means Duncan Watmore could be in line to keep his starting role with his brace against Swansea at the start of the month the last time Boro bagged a goal.

Anfernee Dijksteel and Marcus Browne are facing a fight to be fit in time, but the visit of Millwall may come too soon for the sidelined pair.

Rowett will be without midfield man Billy Mitchell, who has yet to recover from a hamstring injury, as well Connor Mahoney, who faces several weeks on the treatment table after picking up a problem with his quad.

Some good news for The Lions' supporters is that striker Kenneth Zohore could be set to make his return from a lengthy lay-off, potentially adding the bite to their attack that has been desperately missing in his absence.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Bettinelli; Spence, Fry, McNair, Bola; Howson, Saville, Morsy, Johnson, Watmore; Assombalonga

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


SM words green background

We say: Middlesbrough 1-0 Millwall

This may not be a clash for the purists, with both sides preferring a more direct approach, but it should be an evenly contested affair.

Middlesbrough have their sights set on the playoff places, and nothing other than the three points will do if they are to avoid losing further ground on the leading pack. Their superior quality should show on the day and secure them a narrow victory.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data


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Millwall manager Gary Rowett pictured in September 2020
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
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2Fulham85121871116
3West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom8440147716
4Coventry CityCoventry851296316
5Stoke CityStoke84221110114
6Blackburn RoversBlackburn8341118313
7Huddersfield TownHuddersfield84131311213
8Queens Park RangersQPR83321612412
9Bristol City8332109112
10Cardiff CityCardiff8323119211
11Birmingham CityBirmingham83231010011
12Derby CountyDerby824267-110
13Luton TownLuton82421214-210
14Reading83141518-310
15Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd8233121209
16Middlesbrough8233910-19
17Preston North EndPreston8233911-29
18Millwall8152810-28
19Barnsley815269-38
20Blackpool8224712-58
21Swansea CitySwansea8143711-47
22Peterborough UnitedPeterborough82151017-77
23Hull City8125512-75
24Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest8116712-54

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