Millwall v Blackburn Rovers
The biggest match for either club in many years is a shootout for the playoffs. Millwall are very much in the driving seat to get themselves into the top six but they have become accustomed to finishing just outside in recent years.
Blackburn have spent the vast majority of the season inside the top six, but no wins in April has left them on the outside looking in. They have to win this match.
Even then Rovers do need to rely on results going their way in the Sunderland and West Brom matches. Tomasson’s men can only control what is in front of them though, so no doubt that they will be going all out for the win here.
There are plenty of options for Millwall v Blackburn bet builder tips and it is really exciting to anticipate how this shootout could go. The usual Millwall tips and Blackburn tips can go a little bit out of the window on occasions such as this.
However, there is definite value to be had. This Millwall vs Blackburn bet builder comes in at over 4/1.
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Bradshaw and Flemming Ready To Fire Millwall Into Playoffs
Millwall were promoted into the Championship in 2017 via a 6th place finish and a successful play-off campaign. However, they haven’t made it to the second tier play-offs since 2002, a fate that Gary Rowett has been working steadily over the last three and a half years to end.
Millwall’s recruitment has been instrumental in their consistent rise. The summer’s major outlay was Zian Flemming and the Dutchman has contributed massively to their position. When the Lions have needed results recently, it has been their strike duo that has answered the call.
Though results have been patchy on the run-in, Tom Bradshaw and Zian Flemming have both scored in the important wins against Preston, and last time out against Blackpool.
The fact that the Lions are at home should help them here. They are currently operating at an xG differential (the difference between their xG created and conceded) of +0.7 across their last ten home matches. This means that they are creating over half a goal’s worth of chances more than their opponents at home on average.
Their last couple of matches have seen both teams to score and over 2.5 goals collect, however, before that Millwall tips would’ve generally been more successful on the under 2.5 goals line.
Millwall Team News
From a Millwall perspective, Gary Rowett has to make a decision as to whether to go with a back three or four. Both systems have had a degree of success recently but, with Rowett’s belief that Rovers will come to dominate the ball, the Lions will probably start with the 3-4-3 formation. This should also mean that Dan McNamara, who has enjoyed good games against Blackburn in the past, could come into the team.
What this means when considering Millwall tips is that Zian Flemming will be likely to be starting in a nominal wide forward position, which could affect his shot-taking. Also, the midfield partnership will have a lot of ball-winning to do between them.
Tomasson’s Style Has An Impact, But Rovers Results Fade
No wins in April is clearly a devastating run of form for Blackburn from a results perspective. In the eight matches since April 1st, Rovers have drawn 5 of them, two of those draws against Coventry and Preston, saw bizarre last-minute equalisers take the points away from Blackburn.
Despite the results and setbacks, the team actually are impressive on the eye and in the performance metrics. Rovers managed to get themselves into a top-six position early in the season based on winning tight matches that could’ve gone either way. That fortune has certainly deserted them of late and now they are failing to win matches that they dominate in terms of possession, territory, and xG difference.
The injuries to Tyler Morton and John Buckley in midfield has led to the re-introduction of teenage Academy product Adam Wharton. Wharton is exceptionally technically capable and has been trusted to play a deep role in midfield. This has allowed Blackburn to play through the thirds more effectively and create more interesting situations.
What this means in terms of Blackburn tips is that they shouldn’t be underestimated going forwards, their raw goal data can be upgraded at this stage.
Blackburn Rovers Team News
The big news from a Blackburn perspective is that Sam Gallagher looks to be fit to take his place in the squad for this match. Given the effect that the forward has on the results of Rovers, even if his personal goal record isn’t particularly convincing, he could be risked from the start by Tomasson.
Blackburn are likely to line up in a 4-3-3 formation with Ben Brereton Diaz likely to be playing his last match for the club from the left-hand side. Bradley Dack’s fitness has improved to the point where he could be used from the start but is more likely to be an impact substitute in the second half.
Millwall v Blackburn Rovers Cheat Sheet
Joe Rankin-Costello could be a shrewd choice for fouls. The left-back ranks fourth highest for the away side in terms of fouls committed per 90, and is tasked with marking former-Sunderland man B, with the winger drawing on average 2.37 fouls per 90 in the Championship this season.
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Millwall v Blackburn Rovers
It is the situation of the match rather than the pure form statistics that make this a good addition to the Millwall vs Blackburn bet builder.
The difference here is that only a win will do for Blackburn. Not only that, but they have the knowledge that getting an early goal will put pressure on Sunderland and West Brom in their matches. This happened on the League One final day with Peterborough going ahead early and Derby couldn’t respond to that.
Both sides’ attacking play has actually been better than the bare goals column would suggest. Millwall have generated 11.3xG since the beginning of April but scored only 6 times. Blackburn have a similar ratio, scoring only 5 from an xG of 8.5. So the teams have been creating chances, but have not been able to put them away recently.
The other point to make is that if Millwall are the team that score early then there is also the chance that Rovers come out for an equaliser and concede more space for Millwall to exploit. Either way, there is likely to come a point in the game when one team or the other will need to push on for goals.
Rankin-Costello has transformed himself from an unwanted utility man, to one of Rovers’ top goal threats from full-back.
Whilst the match in which Rankin-Costello took eight shots with seven on target is something of an outlier, it does illustrate the way in which the right-back is so heavily involved in the attacking play of Tomasson’s men.
The team shifts formation when in possession to allow Rankin-Costello to take up an old-fashioned inside-right position in the front line, often getting there when the ball is deeper than him to become an option for build-up as well as being in the box for deliveries. A bonus to selecting Rankin-Costello for this bet is that he is also a potential target for set pieces as he is above average in the air.
Since his emergence in the first team Rankin-Costello has progressed to be Rovers’ fourth-highest shot taker on average, and in a match that will require them to be on the front foot, it would be a surprise if the Academy product isn’t heavily involved.
It is sure to be something of a battlefield in the centre of the pitch here. Blackburn have recently begun playing a three-man midfield, likely to be Lewis Travis, Adam Wharton, and, probably, Sam Szmodics.
Millwall won’t be backing down from the challenge of course, and Billy Mitchell will be key to this. Lewis Travis, as well as being a regular fouler, is also a master agitator. Travis is by far the most fouled Blackburn player at almost 2 fouls against per 90 minutes, but also, the technique of Adam Wharton has attracted 11 fouls in 4 matches. Both players will be in Blackburn’s central midfield and Mitchell will be one of the key men in shutting them down.
Mitchell averages over a foul per 90 minutes over the course of the whole season, but has been more frequent of late. 5 fouls in his last 3 starts means that the price for Mitchell to get one in the match here looks very attractive given the way Blackburn will set up here.
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