Saturday, January 29
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Jan 22, 2022 at 3pm UK
Lavery (55')
Garbutt (40')
FT(HT: 0-0)

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

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

A mid-table battle between two out-of-form Championship sides will take place at Bloomfield Road on Saturday afternoon as Blackpool host Millwall.

The Tangerines have lost three of their last four games across all competitions, conceding at least twice on each occasion, while the Lions are hoping to avoid three successive defeats at the beginning of the New Year for the first time since 1948.

Match preview

Prior to last weekend's postponement against Barnsley, Blackpool were one of eight teams who suffered defeat in the third round of the FA Cup to lower league opposition, as they were beaten 2-1 away at League Two outfit Hartlepool United.

Keshi Anderson's eighth-minute opener was cancelled out by second-half strikes from David Ferguson and 18-year-old Joe Grey, condemning the Tangerines to their third exit in four years at this stage of the competition.

Neil Critchley would have welcomed a cup run, but now he and his side will prepare to resurrect their Championship campaign, which has derailed over the past few months.

Early-season hopes of a playoff push seem to have faded after a run of just two league victories in their last 11 matches. Such form has seen them slip from sixth place in October down to 15th and 11 points behind the playoffs.

Following a 1-0 win over Hull City in their first Championship game in 2022, Blackpool will be looking to start the year with successive league victories for the first time since 2001, when they take on a Millwall side who they are unbeaten against in each of their last five home meetings.

Millwall suffered their third successive defeat in all competitions when they lost 1-0 at home against Nottingham Forest last weekend.

The hosts were on course to claim a point before former Lions striker Lewis Grabban bundled the ball home in stoppage time to claim all three points for the visitors.

Gary Rowett's men have now slipped down into the bottom half of the table, level on points with Saturday's opponents Blackpool and 11 points behind the top six.

Millwall travel to Bloomfield Road this weekend having already lost away at the two other newly-promoted clubs this season, suffering 2-1 defeats at both Hull City and Peterborough United.

However, the Lions are unbeaten in each of their last three meetings with Blackpool, including the 2-1 win at The Den in August, so Rowett and co can take some confidence up to the North-West.

Blackpool Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Blackpool form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

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

Millwall form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Critchley has revealed that Blackpool have no new injury concerns for this weekend, though Anderson (hamstring), James Husband (hamstring), Sonny Carey (metatarsal), Grant Ward (Achilles), Matty Virtue (knee) and Chris Maxwell (thigh) all remain sidelined.

Luke Garbutt is expected to return to the first XI and replace Husband at left-back, joining Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel, Marvin Ekpiteta and Richard Keogh in the back four.

Striker Jerry Yates will also be hoping to force his way back into the first XI ahead of either Gary Madine or Shayne Lavery, who both started the last game against Hartlepool.

As for Millwall, they have been dealt a double injury blow as striker Tom Bradshaw could be out for up to three months after sustaining a knee ligament injury in the first half against Nottingham Forest, while midfielder Sheyi Ojo is facing up to two months on the sidelines with an ankle problem picked up in the same game.

Ryan Leonard and Danny Ballard both remain sidelined with respective ankle and knee injuries, while club captain Alex Pearce is a doubt with a groin strain.

In addition, the future of winger Jed Wallace remains uncertain amid reported interest from Forest and Besiktas, and the 27-year-old is set to miss out again as a result.

With Bradshaw and Ojo now sidelined, Mason Bennett and Matthew Smith are the most likely candidates to join Benik Afobe in attack.

Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Grimshaw; Lawrence-Gabriel, Ekpiteta, Keogh, Garbutt; Bowler, Dougall, Wintle, John-Jules; Yates, Madine

Millwall possible starting lineup:
Bialkowski; Hutchinson, Cooper, Wallace; McNamara, Evans, Mitchell; Malone; Bennett; Smith, Afobe

We say: Blackpool 1-1 Millwall

Both sides are struggling with several absentees so neither will be at full strength for Saturday's contest, which could prove to be an open game at Bloomfield Road. With little to separate these two out-of-form teams, a score draw could be on the cards.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 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.Under 2.5:data

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