Millwall vs Derby County preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
DERBY, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: George Evans of Millwall FC and Graeme Shinnie of Derby County battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Millwall at Pride Park Stadium on March 13, 2021 in Derby, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Derby County travel to the Den off the back of two straight defeats, and are winless in their last six games.

They face a Millwall side who have won five of their last seven games, and will provide stubborn opposition for Wayne Rooney's Rams.

After a strong start to the season, with just three defeats in their opening fourteen games, Wayne Rooney’s side have slipped to two defeats on the bounce, and have won just four of their last 31 Championship games.

In contrast, ex-Ram Gary Rowett's Millwall suffered a slow start, winning just one of their first nine games, but have since rocketed up the table following their recent form.

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  • Team news

For the Rams, dynamic midfielder Krystian Bielik is still unavailable after rupturing his ACL back in January. 

Midfielder Ravel Morrison also misses out after receiving a one match suspension following his yellow card at Barnsley on Wednesday.

Graeme Shinnie returns to the fold following his one match suspension.

Colin Kazim-Richards is expected to start his second consecutive away game for the first time since May, whilst explosive winger Festy Ebosele is expected to be handed his fourth senior competitive start.

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Millwall hope that on-loan Arsenal defender Daniel Ballard will be fit following a knock he sustained against Huddersfield Town.

Centre back George Evans will be the sole guaranteed absentee from Rowett's side.

Ex-Derby full-back Scott Malone is in line to face his former club for the first time since leaving on a permanent deal in the summer.

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  • Predicted lineups

Millwall (5-2-3):

Bialkowski; Leonard, Ballard, Hutchinson, Cooper, Malone; Mitchell, Saville; J Wallace, Afobe, Ojo.

Derby (4-2-3-1)

Roos; Byrne, Jagielka, Davies, Buchanan; Shinnie, Bird; Lawrence, Knight, Ebosele; Kazim-Richards.

  • Ones to watch

Millwall - Jed Wallace

The ex-Portsmouth man has been on fire so far this season. scoring five goals and assisting a further four. 

The attacking midfielder netted 11 goals and recorded five assists last season, and is well on his way to improving on those tallies this season.

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Derby's defence will have to be on top form to prevent him adding to those already impressive numbers.

Derby County - Max Bird

After a difficult 12 months, Max Bird is finally fullfilling his potential as Derby's number eight.

Starring alongside Graeme Shinnie in the centre of midfield, 21-year-old Bird has been dictating the majority of Derby's games this season, and he's made it look easy.

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His link up play with the front three has been exceptional, and he even managed to find the net against Stoke City. The future is bright for the young man.

  • Previous meetings

Both sides recorded 1-0 away wins last season, with Derby's win at the Den their first of the 2020/2021 season under manager Wayne Rooney.

Jason Knight struck a second half winner to give Derby the three points back in December 2020.

Shaun Hutchinson scored with Millwall's only shot on target when the two sides last met in March 2021, heading in just before half time.

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  • How to watch on TV

Kick off for the match is at 15:00 GMT, meaning that there will be no live TV coverage in the UK and Ireland. Supporters abroad can watch the game through Derby's streaming service RamsTV for £10.
  • Quotes from the managers

Wayne Rooney was was realistic in his press conference leading up to the game. He told BBCSport:

The last three games, for large portions of them, we haven’t been good enough.

“We have to get back to being horrible, hard to play against. We pride ourselves on energy, aggression and it wasn’t there [against Barnsley].”

“There’s a reason the fans are behind the players and that’s because they are seeing players running, working hard, battling, playing with aggression, and we can’t afford to go away from that. That’s the minimum we need as a team.

“We are going through a little bit of a bad period but we have to get back to being aggressive and playing with energy because if the players thought we’re better than we are, they certainly know now that we’re in a relegation battle, a fight to stay in the division and we need more.”

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Millwall boss Gary Rowett praised Rooney and his team. He told BBCSport:

"They've got good players. You saw their team the other night - they've got good players and they can mix the game up from a technical and physical aspect with the likes of Curtis Davies, [Phil] Jagielka and [Colin] Kazim-Richards."

"There have been all sorts of rumours floating around that they [Derby] may get more points deducted, but if that doesn't happen, then they've got a very good chance of getting out of it. They are a very good side.

"I would expect them to have a real chance of pulling out of those bottom positions. We've got to be completely focused and do what we do well.

"If we do that to the best of our ability, we give ourselves a chance. If not, then we'll give Derby a chance of winning the game. It is as simple and clear as that."

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