Jackett: Nullifying Villa threat key to Millwall's upset hopes

© Kieran Galvin
© Kieran Galvin

KENNY Jackett believes defensive duo Danny Shittu and Mark Beevers will have to be at the top of their game if Millwall are to triumph over Aston Villa in the FA Cup.

The Premier League strugglers travel to The Den on Friday night just three days after their shock exit from the Capital One Cup at the hands of Bradford City.

Villa conceded four goals from set-pieces over two legs against the Bantams but Jackett believes the Lions must get things right in their own penalty area first if they are to progress to the fifth round.

"I think everybody struggles with crosses into the box," he said. "A third of all goals are scored from set pieces – be it in the Conference or the World Cup final.

"For us to win the game, we have to respect and handle Villa's attacking prowess because they have got a number of very good attacking players, whichever options they choose.

"The attack will probably be led by Christian Benteke, who has probably been their best player and a shining light for them this season.

"They have some impressive forwards. Benteke is a good signing and adds to the likes of Charles N'Zogbia, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann.

"It will be a big responsibility for Shittu and Beevers to handle premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/womans-health/ them."

While much has been made of Villa's vulnerability from corners, Jackett has been disappointed with the Lions' wastefulness from set-pieces this season.

He said: "We haven't, in our own league, done enough from a number of corners, wide free-kicks and a good delivery from James Henry.

"We have not scored enough from our set-pieces and we do want to improve on that. There is no better time to do that than Friday night."

A juicy cup tie has been a long time coming for Jackett, who insists the visit of Aston Villa does not provided an unwanted distraction from Millwall's campaign in Championship.

"You are mindful of injuries and suspensions as they build up, but personally the opportunity to have a cup run is a big one," he said.

"It can add many things to the club – belief and experience for the players and interest for the fans. There's going to be up to 15,000 people at The Den on Friday and I'm looking forward to that.

"They're an established Premier League side and we haven't had the chance to enjoy these type of games recently.

"It is something I've lacked at Millwall – we haven't had a cup run and we haven't necessarily had the luck of the draw to get a big team with the history and tradition of Villa."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

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