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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Lions are raring to go in crucial London derby clash

Fulham face an automatic promotion setback at the Den

Millwall have had a lot to celebrate recently
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Sky Bet Championship highflyers Fulham have not tasted defeat in a league game since mid-December but they have failed to win their last three London derbies and could suffer a damaging setback against playoff chasing Millwall at the Den.

During the 20 rounds of Championship matches played since Christmas, Fulham and Millwall have been the most consistent teams – amassing respective points tallies of 50 and 43.

However, neither can afford to let up if they are to achieve their ambitions.

Fulham slipped out of the top two after last Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Brentford, falling a point behind Cardiff, who have played one game fewer.

Millwall remained sixth after their 1-1 draw at Sheffield United but need three more wins to make absolutely sure of advancing to the playoffs.

The Lions have gone 17 league games unbeaten since a 2-1 New Year's Day defeat at Norwich which left them 15th, only six points above the drop zone.

For two thirds of the season, Millwall had been focusing on Championship consolidation but their confidence and belief have steadily grown and they seem to be relishing their recently acquired status of promotion challengers.

The potential rewards of promotion to the Premier League are massive but Millwall, who were playing League One football this time last year, are under less pressure than the clubs around them and it shows in their performances.

They play an aggressive, pragmatic brand of football which cuts out defensive risk and maximises the strength of their physical front two of Lee Gregory and Steve Morison.

And they are excellent at negating the threats of their opponents.

Fulham love to play an expansive brand of football and can play in different ways – looking to the pace of exciting winger Ryan Sessegnon or the physicality of on loan Newcastle centre-forward Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has plundered ten goals in 14 appearances.

But Millwall are not going to stand back and admire Fulham's football and the occasion – an atmospheric, frenetic London derby – should give them a better chance of carrying out their gameplan.

The clash of styles will be similar to Millwall's late December fixture at home to Wolves, which finished in a 2-2 draw.

Another exciting, closely-fought match is on the cards but it may pay to side Millwall, who look value on the draw no bet.

Millwall draw no bet
1pt 6-4 Hills

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Team news
The home side have no fresh injuries and Neil Harris is expected to name the same 11 for the 11th time in 13 games.

Injured duo Floyd Ayite and Sheyi Ojo are still unavailable but Slavisa Jokanovic has an otherwise fully fit squad to choose from.

Key stat
Millwall are unbeaten in their last 15 home fixtures.

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The Lions have gone 17 league games unbeaten since a 2-1 New Year's Day defeat at Norwich
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