Preview: Millwall vs. Bradford

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

BEN Thompson is suspended for Saturday’s visit of Bradford to The Den to deepen Millwall’s midfield problems.

Shaun Williams has missed the last two games with a back injury he suffered at Blackpool and Neil Harris will leave it until late to decide if he is ready for a return against Phil Parkinson’s side.

The clash with Bradford is the last game to fall within George Saville’s 28-day emergency loan deal, but Millwall are set to announce they have reached agreement with parent club Wolves over an extension.

The Lions are looking for a fifth win in a row at home and if other results go their way this weekend it could put them fourth in the table – their highest position this season.

It is the first meeting of the sides since their fractious FA Cup third round tie last January, which the Bantams won 4-0 after Mark Beevers had been sent off.

A brawl that broke out when Alan Dunne shoved James Hanson over the advertising hoardings also resulted in both clubs, as well as Parkinson and his assistant Steve Parkin, being charged by the FA.

Millwall’s pursuit of Hanson during the summer and the striker’s decision to stay at Bradford could see some derision directed at him from the home fans.

Hanson, though, is undeterred by that prospect.

“I’m fully expecting that it won’t be the happiest welcome,” the 27-year-old striker told The Telegraph and Argus. “We’ve had a bit of a laugh about it around the training ground.

“But there are quite a few West Ham boys here as well so that might take the edge off me. There could be about four or five of us getting abuse.

“But it’s all good fun and part of football. We’re just trying to keep our run going.”

He said he won't, however, indulge in any exuberant celebrations if he follows up last week’s goal against Wigan with another on Saturday.

Hanson joked: “I don’t want the team’s bus to get bricked on the way home.

“It’s a game that I looked out for. When the fixtures first came out, I probably didn’t know at that stage which club I’d be at.

“There may be a little pressure on me because of everything but that’s pressure that I can thrive on.

“It would be nice to score there but it is better that the team perform well and get the much-needed three points to push us up the league again.”

Bradford extended the loan deals of Preston’s Kyel Reid and West Ham’s Reece Burke this week, but former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones left the club on Tuesday after making just three appearances since signing in August.

Billy Clarke, Bradford’s top scorer last season with 14 goals, signed a new deal this week that will take him up to 2018. Clarke and midfielder Josh Morris could both return this weekend.

Bradford had just 10 points after 10 games, but 10 in their last four has lifted them to 14th in the league table.

Form guide (Last five league):

Millwall: LWDWW

Bradford: LWLWD

Sky Bet match odds:

Millwall 5/4  Draw 12/5  Bradford 21/10

Probable Millwall team:

4-4-2: Archer; Edwards, Craig, Beevers, J Martin; O’Brien, Powell, Saville, Ferguson; Morison, Gregory.

John Kelly