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Preview: Millwall vs. Fulham

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's London derby as Millwall host Fulham in a Championship relegation battle at The Den.

The Den plays host to a huge London derby this weekend as Millwall entertain Fulham in a relegation six-pointer.

The Lions were expected to be embroiled in a battle against the drop this season, but Fulham find themselves in a somewhat surprising position given their relegation from the Premier League just last season.

The Cottagers are only five points clear of the bottom three - a gap that could be cut to two this weekend - and are without a win in six matches in all competitions going into this game.

Kit Symons's men have picked up just one point from the last 12 available in the Championship and, even more worryingly, have lost their last four away games in the league.

Indeed, only two teams have amassed fewer points on their travels all season, while none have conceded more than the 35 away goals Fulham have shipped in just 15 games.

However, there were positives to take from their last outing despite it ending in defeat as Fulham pushed for a late equaliser against high-flying Ipswich Town, only to go down 2-1 at Craven Cottage in the end.

Ipswich's fellow playoff contenders Wolverhampton Wanderers, Derby County, Watford and Bournemouth are next up for the Cottagers, making this weekend's derby with Millwall even more important.

Confusion continues to reign over the future of Bryan Ruiz, but the Costa Rica international did come off the bench last weekend and could play from the start on Saturday despite reports linking him with a move to Brazil.

Tim Hoogland is still not quite fit enough to start following a long-term injury, but Scott Parker should continue in midfield having returned against Ipswich, while Ross McCormack and Hugo Rodallega are expected to lead the line.

For Millwall, victory could lift them above Brighton & Hove Albion and out of the bottom three, and they will fancy their chances of getting something out of the match considering their recent improvement.

The Lions have won two of their last four games, both against teams in the top half of the table, having not won in nine outings before that.

Both of those victories came away from home, however, and it is at The Den where Millwall's major problems have arisen this season. They have the worst home record in terms of both points won and goals conceded in the division, while they haven't won a match in front of their own fans since October - nine games ago.

A deflected Alex Mowatt goal was all that separated Leeds United from Millwall last weekend, but Ian Holloway will be forced into at least one change from that match due to an injury sustained by Shaun Cummings.

The January arrival will miss up to a month with a groin tear, which could force Holloway to play Mark Beevers out of position at right-back.

There will be no place for Magaye Gueye further upfield, however, after Holloway stressed that he must lose weight before he is considered for selection.

Millwall:

Recent form: LDWLWL

Possible starting lineup: Forde; Beevers, Dunne, Hooiveld, Harding; Williams, Martinez, Martin, Fabbrini, Woolford; Maierhofer

Fulham:

Form in Championship: WWLDLL
Form in all competitions: DLLDLL

Possible starting lineup: Bettinelli; Richards, Hutchinson, Bodurov, Stafylidis; Christensen, Parker, Ruiz, Tunnicliffe; Rodallega, McCormack

Sports Mole says: 0-1

ID:206413:

Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Millwall and Fulham?

Millwall
Draw
Fulham
Millwall
45.3%
Draw
9.3%
Fulham
45.3%
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Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy looks on before kick off during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Derby County at Portman Road on January 10, 2015
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds37218856302671
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom371913564372770
3Fulham371810952381464
4Brentford371791164333160
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest371612948381060
6Preston North EndPreston37168135045556
7Bristol City371510125153-255
8Millwall37131594440454
9Cardiff CityCardiff37131595250254
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn371411125245753
11Swansea CitySwansea371314104645153
12Derby CountyDerby371312124949051
13Queens Park RangersQPR37148155862-450
14Reading37139154642448
15Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds37139154649-348
16Birmingham CityBirmingham371211144857-947
17Stoke CityStoke37126194955-642
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield37119174558-1342
19Middlesbrough37914143747-1041
20Wigan AthleticWigan371011163850-1241
21Hull City37118184963-1441
22Charlton AthleticCharlton37109184454-1039
23Luton TownLuton37105224371-2835
24Barnsley37810194262-2034

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