Millwall host Brighton this weekend in the FA Cup quarter-finals and will surely go into it with full confidence after their impressive victory away at Birmingham on Wednesday and the knowledge that they have the quality to beat Premier League opposition after besting Everton in the fifth round.
The Seagulls, meanwhile, are also in a buoyant mood – they beat bitter rivals Crystal Palace last time out in what was only their second win of 2019.
Below, Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas offers his predictions ahead of what promises to be a gritty clash…
“The one thing you’ll 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.”
Nicholas predicted a scoreline of 2-1 to the visitors, although his comments about the threat Millwall pose to Brighton are interesting considering the impact Lee Gregory made on Wednesday night.
Gregory teed up Ben Thompson twice in the first half and has surely earned his starting spot this weekend if Neil Harris is going to throw everything at the tie, while the 4-5-1 the Lions boss went with in that game was effective at keeping the Blues out after Millwall had gone two ahead – that leaves no room for a second striker.
Brighton will surely look to go to The Den looking to impose their style and there will undoubtedly be space for Millwall when they look to attack – perhaps they don’t need to rely on Morison’s physicality to get the job done and can instead continue with Gregory.
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It’s surprising considering how well the Lions number 9 did on Wednesday that Nicholas has mentioned Morison instead – sure, the veteran striker has been a key player for Harris’ side in the previous rounds but he’s only made three starts since the end of January and Gregory’s latest showing surely deserves mention.