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Match Preview – Millwall vs Brighton

Last Updated: 15/03/19 4:38pm

Neil Harris will be hoping Millwall can cause another FA Cup upset

Neil Harris will be hoping Millwall can cause another FA Cup upset

Neil Harris will be hoping Millwall can cause another FA Cup upset

Millwall will be hoping for another Premier League scalp in the FA Cup as they host Brighton in the quarter-finals at 2pm on Sunday.

The Lions have already beaten Everton 3-2 at the Den this season and will be hoping for a similar performance as a trip to Wembley awaits the winner.

Millwall manager Neil Harris believes Brighton will know what to expect when they make the trip to south London and how big of an opportunity it is.

“Is it a free game for us? Possibly, because a Premier League team should come and beat us. Their fanbase will look at it as what an opportunity – we’ve achieved already by getting to the quarter-final,” he said.

2:00
Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Millwall

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Millwall

“Chris will know his boys are in for a tough weekend. I haven’t paid too much attention to them, we’ll do that now going into the weekend. I’ve had quite a lot else to look at, regarding my own players [after Millwall’s dip in form]. Brighton have got some good players and certainly have a top manager.”

Brighton have beaten Sky Bet Championship opponents in the last two rounds – West Brom over two games and Derby last time out in the competition – and manager Chris Hughton believes the cup is there for anyone to win.

“The excitement at this stage of the competition is normal,” he said. “It means a lot to the supporters – to have the possibility to be in the last four is always tough when you get to this stage. It’s an open competition now.”

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Highlights from Brighton’s win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League

Highlights from Brighton’s win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League

Team news

Millwall will hand a late fitness test to Lee Gregory. The forward is struggling with a calf injury and could yet join the cup-tied Fred Onyedinma, Ben Marshall, Ben Thompson and Murray Wallace – injured and suspended – in being ruled out. Conor McLaughlin is also a doubt owing to a quad injury.

Florin Andone (groin) and Pascal Gross (hamstring) will be absent for Brighton this weekend, although Leon Balogun is available.

Opta stats

Millwall and Brighton haven’t met in the FA Cup since the 1956-57 season in the first round, with the Lions winning a replay to progress.

 Lee Gregory could be sidelined for Millwall  Lee Gregory could be sidelined for Millwall

Lee Gregory could be sidelined for Millwall

Brighton have lost none of their last six visits to the Den against Millwall, all in league competition between 2009 and 2015 (W3 D3 L0).

This is Millwall’s 11th FA Cup quarter-final – all as a non-top-flight team; only Southampton (13) have reached more FA Cup quarter-finals while outside the top flight.

Brighton are participating in their fourth FA Cup quarter-final; they’ve progressed from one of their previous three, doing so in 1982-83 when they reached the final.

Since the start of the 2016-17 campaign, Millwall have won four FA Cup ties against Premier League opponents – more than any other non-Premier League side in that time.

Florin Andone is an injury doubt Florin Andone is an injury doubt

Florin Andone is an injury doubt

Millwall have won their last five home FA Cup matches against Premier League opponents, last losing in February 2012 against Bolton.

Brighton haven’t won three consecutive away FA Cup matches since December 1932.

Anthony Knockaert has been involved in four goals in his last five FA Cup games for Brighton (2 goals, 2 assists); he scored and assisted in his last match against Millwall on New Year’s Day 2014 for Leicester in a Championship fixture.

Charlie Nicholas’ prediction

The one thing you know you’ll get is blood and guts. A little bit of quality in there and they can show it. Steve Morison is a handful. It’ll be volatile with the crowd as we know it can be down there at the Den.

This is a hard match to call. Brighton have still got some work to do in the Premier League. But why not go for it? Play your strongest team. I think it will be very tight.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: Millwall 1-2 Brighton (8/1 with Sky Bet)

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