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Championship Preview: The Tigers of Hull head into Millwall’s Lions’ Den

Jonathan Campkin

Millwall and Hull City are two teams whose form has dipped recently. With Hull desperate to secure an automatic promotion place and Millwall trying to get in the play-offs, this is a crucial match for both.

We look ahead to the this match, the other standout games and the players to watch this week in the Championship……

MATCH OF THE WEEK

Millwall v Hull City

Millwall have won just once in their last seven league games which has meant they have slipped to ninth and six points behind Middlesbrough who occupy the final play-off position.

Manager Kenny Jackett has blamed defensive errors and a lack of creativity as the reasons behind this slump in form.

The only positive in recent weeks has been the return of promising youngster John Marquis, who is   highly rated at the New Den.

Meanwhile, Hull are only outside the automatic promotion places on goal difference despite only winning one of their last five league games.

They always pose problems for their opposition thanks to the guile of Robert Koren. However they have felt the loss of Ahmed Elmohamedy whose season-long loan at the KC Stadium was cut short by his parent club Sunderland recently. The Egyptian international provided six assists for his team-mates.

OTHER MATCHES

Blackburn v Bristol City – Blackburn remain inconsistent with only one win in their last four Championship games, whereas Bristol City have got off to a good start under Sean O’Driscoll by winning two games on the trot. The clean sheet against Watford was their first since April 2012.

Leeds United v Cardiff City – Leeds will be dangerous off the back of their FA cup win against Tottenham but will have to put in some performance to beat Cardiff who have won five of their last six games in the league and strengthened their squad with the arrival of Fraizer Campbell.

Alex McLeish 300x225 Championship Preview: The Tigers of Hull head into Millwalls Lions Den

Alex McLeish

MANAGER TO WATCH

Alex McLeish

McLeish will this weekend take his Nottingham Forest side to Birmingham City, his former club.

Despite winning the Carling Cup with the Blues in February 2011, they were relegated from the Premier League that season under him.

Moreover following this relegation he resigned to take charge of bitter rivals Aston Villa, which means he is bound to receive a frosty reception when he returns to St Andrew’s.

PLAYER TO WATCH

John Marquis

The 20-year-old Millwall youth academy graduate has come back from a groin injury, which saw him miss the start of the season.

The frontman came on as substitute against Burnley in mid-January and since has started against Aston Villa in the FA Cup and Barnsley in the league. He snatched the late winner against Villa to ensure progress to the fifth round.

He is strong, quick and a good finisher and seems to have forged a good relationship with fellow striker Andy Keogh.

Millwall face Hull at home before away trips to Blackpool and Luton in the FA Cup. Marquis will look to fire the Lions closer to the play-off places.

FIXTURES

Saturday 2nd February 2013

Birmingham v Nottingham Forest 3pm

Blackburn v Bristol City 3pm

Blackpool v Barnsley 3pm

Crystal Palace v Charlton 3pm

Derby v Huddersfield 3pm

Ipswich v Middlesbrough 3pm

Leeds United v Cardiff 3pm

Millwall v Hull 3pm

Peterborough v Burnley 3pm

Sheffield Wednesday v Brighton 3pm

Watford v Bolton 3pm

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