Millwall meet Cardiff for a feisty Friday night meeting at The Den. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter...
"Millwall have W7-D4-L2 over their last 13 Championship clashes at The Den and if we exclude the bottom-five, the Lions have W7-D3-L1 here"
Millwall v Cardiff
Friday 9th February, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports
Millwall continue to climb
Two goals within three second-half minutes saw Millwall beat Reading last weekend and claim a ninth Championship triumph of the season. The victory moved Neil Harris' side 12 points clear of the bottom four with Mahlon Romeo's deflected cross and Lee Gregory's strike earning the Lions the points.
Although there was much fortune about the opener, Millwall enjoyed much the better of the contest as they claimed a second successive away success. The capital club out-shot the Royals 16-9 and won the shots on-target count 6-1 in what Harris described as "a very dominant display".
Tim Cahill could be in line for his second Lions debut on Friday night but any involvement looks likely to be from the bench as Harris keeps faith the same side that's performed with aplomb in recent weeks.
Cardiff back on track
Following four straight defeats, Cardiff are back on track with seven points from their past three outings (W2-D1-L). The Bluebirds maintained their promotion push with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Leeds at Elland Road last weekend to remain in fourth and just three points off the top-two.
Neil Warnock handed £5m deadline day capture Gary Madine a debut, leading the forward line with Kenneth Zohore dropping to the bench, whilst Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic also started. The Welsh outfit cruised into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Callum Paterson, Junior Hoilett and Sean Morrison and a red card for Leeds' Gaetano Berardi.
Anthony Pilkington made the result safe after Sol Bamba's own goal briefly stirred Leeds. Warnock was understandably buoyant at the result considering loan signing Jamie Ward was unavailable and he'll be pleased to see the likes of Lee Peltier, Craig Bryson and Matthew Connolly edging closer to full fitness.
Millwall [2.70] pride themselves on their performances at The Den and having suffered only three losses in 15 Championship outings at their London base, the Lions appear underrated in the pre-match markets.
Neil Harris' troops have returned W5-D4-L2 in their most recent nine encounters, with both defeats arriving on the road. The hosts are unbeaten in nine across all competitions on home soil and have pocketed twice as many points at The Den as on their travels since promotion.
Cardiff [2.74] pitch up in a positive frame of mind but it's worth highlighting their wobbly record outside of the Welsh capital. The Bluebirds have bagged a solitary success in five away days despite four of those matches coming against bottom-half dwellers, including reverses at QPR and Bolton.
Millwall have W7-D4-L2 over their last 13 Championship clashes at The Den and if we exclude the bottom-five, the Lions have W7-D3-L1 here. The hosts haven't been given the respect they deserve in the Match Odds market, which allows us to support them at generous [1.93] in the Draw No Bet market.
Over 2.5 Goals has been chalked up as a [2.08] chance, a fair price considering the pair have seen three or more goals bank in just 27/59 (46%) combined Championship games. That record remains remarkably similar when viewing only home/away contests with 14/30 (47%) returning Over 2.5 Goals profit.
Intriguingly, five of Millwall's meetings with top-half teams this term have seen Both Teams To Score backers collect and with 18/32 (56%) of Neil Warnock's away days with Cardiff following suit, there might be mileage in supporting a repeat although [1.78] odds aren't particularly appealing.
Staked: 112.00 pts
Returned: 128.21 pts
P/L: +16.21 pts