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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Take Birmingham to give Millwall the blues

The man with his finger on the EFL pulse

Che Adams scored Birmingham's winner against Cardiff
1 of 1

English Football League and FA Cup
3pm Saturday

Birmingham v Millwall
Local derby defeats are always difficult to stomach but Birmingham have had enough time to dust themselves down from last Sunday's 2-0 loss at Aston Villa and can respond in the right way by beating Millwall at St Andrew's.

Going into the contest at Villa Park, Birmingham were high on confidence having taken 13 points from their previous six league games.

They competed well enough for an hour but struggled after Albert Adomah's opening goal and could have no complaints about the result.

However, losing to highflying Villa was no disgrace and if the Blues can regain some composure they have a great chance of beating Millwall.

It has been a decent season for Millwall, who are 14th and firmly on course to stay up, although they have relied heavily on winning at home.

Seven of their nine league victories have been at the Den and they were poor on their last road trip, losing 1-0 at Rochdale in an FA Cup fourth-round replay.

Millwall responded to the Dale defeat with a strong performance in a televised 1-1 draw at home to Cardiff but they are nowhere near as reliable on their travels and look vulnerable against a Birmingham team heading in the right direction.

Birmingham draw no bet
2pts 10-11 Betfred

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Sky Bet Championship standings

Brighton v Coventry
The FA Cup has been a fairly low priority for Brighton this season but the Seagulls can cruise into the quarter-finals with a comfortable victory at home to Sky Bet League Two promotion-chasers Coventry.

Chris Hughton has been making sweeping changes for FA Cup matches but can afford to involve a few more of his senior men this weekend because their next Premier League game (at home to Swansea) is not until next Saturday.

Coventry dumped Premier League Stoke out of the competition in the third round but have picked up a lot of injuries and their results have suffered.

Three successive defeats have seen them drop out of the playoffs and they have a key period coming up with matches away to Mansfield and Wycombe and at home to Lincoln.

The cup run has been a fantastic boost for Coventry's finances but the additional fixtures have taken a toll on their players and they may not be in the right physical and mental shape to register another cup upset.

Brighton are fairly short-priced favourites but look a decent-value bet to win to nil, as they did with a 1-0 success at Middlesbrough in the fourth round.

Brighton win to nil
1pt Evs Sky Bet

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Premier League standings

Sky Bet League Two standings

Swindon v Port Vale
Poor home results were letting down Swindon in the first half of the Sky Bet League Two campaign but the Robins have won their last four matches at the County Ground and look worthy favourites to see off relegation-threatened Port Vale.

Swindon conceded an 89th-minute winning goal in a 3-2 loss at promotion rivals Wycombe on Tuesday but they have been pretty decent over their last ten games, collecting 19 points from a possible 30.

Their only other losses in that period were away to promotion hopefuls Coventry (3-1) and Accrington (2-1) and they should be reasonably confident of coping with 19th-placed Port Vale, who are on a dreadful run.

The Valiants have not won in seven matches this year and were hammered 5-1 at Cheltenham last Saturday.

They lost 3-0 at home to Swindon earlier in the season and need to find some improvement to avoid a similar outcome.

1pt Evs bet365, Betway

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Sky Bet League Two standings

Morecambe v Forest Green
Forest Green have posted four successive home wins to lift themselves out of the League Two drop zone and are value to claim a rare away victory at fellow strugglers Morecambe.

The recent improvement in Rovers' results has come about after an ambitious January recruitment drive which has added quality to the squad.

Consequently, Rovers are a better team than their league position of 20th indicates and they can cause problems for Morecambe, who are winless in five and one point worse off in the table.

Forest Green
1pt 12-5 Betway

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Sky Bet League Two standings

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The Valiants have not won in seven matches this year and were hammered 5-1 at Cheltenham last Saturday
E.W. Terms
Sky bet