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Jan 8, 2022 at 12.45pm UK
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
Afobe (17')
Mitchell (56')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Olise (46'), Mateta (58')
Schlupp (26'), Butland (82')

Preview: Millwall vs. Crystal Palace - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Crystal Palace are set to make the short journey across London to kick off their 2021-22 FA Cup campaign against Championship outfit Millwall on Saturday lunchtime.

The hosts kicked off the New Year with a 3-2 defeat to Bristol City in the Championship, while the Eagles coincidentally lost by the same scoreline to West Ham United.

Match preview

A highly unlikely spot in the playoffs cannot be ruled out for Millwall just yet, but inconsistency bedevilled them in the final stages of 2021, and they kicked off 2022 in the worst possible way by ending up on the wrong end of a five-goal scoreline versus Bristol City.

Tom Bradshaw and Benik Afobe cancelled out Andreas Weimann's opener to put Gary Rowett's side 2-1 up heading into half time, but Weimann led the Bristol City charge to complete his hat trick in the second 45 - his third of which came in the 85th minute.

The Championship outfit have now won just two of their last eight games in the second tier ahead of Saturday's battle, but the Lions do not do third-round exits in the FA Cup very often, making it past this stage in each of the last five seasons.

Millwall's cup run has ended in the fourth round twice on the bounce, though - with recent opponents Bristol City sending them packing at that stage last term - but their five-game unbeaten home run will serve to increase the confidence within Rowett's ranks.

West Ham United going 3-0 up previously meant that the comeback was on for the opposition in the 2020-21 season, and Palace threatened to do so once Manuel Lanzini (2) and Michail Antonio had made the net ripple.

A stellar 22-minute cameo from Michael Olise saw the youngster set up Odsonne Edouard's strike before his free kick flew past everyone into the bottom corner, but Patrick Vieira's men were ultimately forced to accept defeat on their own turf.

Vieira can look back positively on his first few months at the helm - even if his side won just two of their last nine games in 2021 - but the Eagles will be wary of the third-round curse striking once more in the FA Cup.

Indeed, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Derby County have knocked Palace out of the tournament in the last two seasons, and a first-ever FA Cup trophy is still on the bucket list for the Eagles, who lost to Manchester United in the 1990 and 2016 finals.

Furthermore, Palace travel to The Den having lost their last three away games without scoring - winning just one on the road all season in all competitions - and only one of their previous 11 meetings with Millwall has ended in victory.

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

Crystal Palace form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Millwall are expected to be without a trio of injury absentees for this contest in Ryan Leonard, Connor Mahoney and Arsenal loanee Dan Ballard, but there is hope over Jed Wallace amid his contract saga.

Maikel Kieftenbeld and Mason Bennett are also thought to have strong chances of returning in time for the third round clash, with the latter potentially pushing for a spot in the final third ahead of Sheyi Ojo.

Bradshaw and Afobe will aim to resume their partnership up top after finding the back of the net against Bristol City, but the potential return of Wallace could break up that attacking duo.

Meanwhile, Palace have lost three players to Africa Cup of Nations duty in Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyate, but Jeffrey Schlupp was not called up to the Ghana squad.

Conor Gallagher and Nathaniel Clyne could return in time to take part, while James McArthur's thigh injury will keep him out once again.

Olise and Eberechi Eze should benefit from the absences of some key Palace attackers this weekend, and there should also be scope for Jack Butland and Jairo Riedewald to return to Vieira's first XI.

Millwall possible starting lineup:
Long; Pearce, Cooper, Hutchinson; McNamara, Saville, Evans, Malone; J. Wallace, Ojo; Bradshaw

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Butland; Kelly, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell; Hughes, Riedewald, Eze; Olise, Mateta, Edouard

We say: Millwall 1-2 Crystal Palace (a.e.t)

Millwall may sense an opportunity for an upset here given Palace's AFCON absentees, but the Eagles still have the talent in the front line to help them avoid an early exit.

Eze and Olise will be out to make statements of intent during their time to shine, but Palace's dire form away from home and Millwall's strength at The Den means that extra time could very well be required.

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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