Millwall

V

The Den

27/01/2018 | 3:00 pm

Rochdale

V

The Den

27/01/2018 | 3:00 pm

In a sentence: The FA Cup fourth round tie allows both teams to take a break from their respective league dogfights, as relegation threatened Rochdale head to the capital aiming to cause an upset over Championship Millwall who are keeping one eye over their shoulder.

Last time: It was a bad tempered contest the last time Rochdale travelled to the Den in September 2016, as a Ben Thompson red card ensured the Dale came away with a 3-2 win, although Millwall did end up earning promotion later in the season.

This time: Millwall are 4/7 to win with Rochdale at 5/1 and the draw 14/5.

You might remember: Millwall taking the three points during a League One clash in September 2015. Despite a Rochdale equaliser just before the break, goals from Shaun Williams and Steve Morison meant the Lions got back on track with a 3-1 win.

Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

A view of Millwall’s home ground, the Den

The FA Cup is a diversion away from the rigours of a tough league campaign which has come at a bad time for the Lions, as they have recently found some Championship form lifting them away from danger. The same cannot be said of League One Rochdale, who find themselves down in the doldrums and nine points from safety in League One.

Millwall enter the game as overwhelming favourites but with the pressure off for a week, Dale boss Hill may fancy this game as a chance to kick-start his side’s revival for the remainder of the campaign.

Millwall are 4/7 to win the match and that is no surprise as there are 31 places separating these two in the English football pyramid. Form is also on Millwall’s side after recording only one defeat in their last six, which has propelled the club up to 15th in the Championship. With home advantage, much rests on the strength of the side Harris decides to play but they are attractive at these odds and will form part of many people’s accumulators.

Rochdale are 5/1 to win but although it may appear unlikely, anything can happen in the FA Cup. Considering their poor league form with their only win in their last six coming against Doncaster in the third round of the cup, confidence is low among Hill’s men. A cup game could be the perfect foil and the starting lineup will tell us much about how serious he is taking the competition over trying to maintain league status.

The draw is 14/5 and the simple truth is that neither side will want this to go to a replay. The teams played out a 3-3 draw the last time they met, although that was in the League and a lot has happened since then. The odds on a draw do look a tempting prospect for two teams who have failed to set their respective divisions alight, but as Millwall boast home advantage, the Dale’s best chance of getting through the tie might come on their own turf so a draw could be in their game plan.

Millwall to win to nil is 8/5 and although recent head to heads have brought plenty of goals between the two, recent form is a different matter. To compound this, Rochdale have only managed to score three times in their last six games at an average of 0.5 goals per game. In fact, the last time the Dale scored more than one goal in a game came on 9 December, and Millwall will fancy their chances of a shutout.

A half time/full time bet of draw/Millwall is 3/1 and could prove a decent price. A tight affair could ensue with both sides taking a little time to find their feet, and a stalemate at half time the likeliest of scenarios before Millwall’s extra fitness and ability shines through to guide them through into the fifth round.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

A nervous start from both sides. With league positions less than convincing for both, the home side will be wary of not letting Rochdale press them too hard early on and risk the wrath of the home fans, while Rochdale will shore up the defence in a bid to give themselves the best possible chance to counter attack in the second half.

A draw at half time is 5/4 and with a scrappy opening 45 minutes expected to be on the cards between two edgy teams, that look likes one of the best bets of the weekend.

2

We fancy:

Millwall to fail to score in the first half at evens. The Lions could be slow out of the blocks after an energy sapping encounter at Leeds at the weekend, and the prospect of being on the end of an upset will ensure Neil Harris plays the long game with patience the order of the day.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

When Millwall travelled to Spotland in March 2017, a 3-3 draw was the result and the odds on that happening again are 50/1. Rochdale may fancy their only chance of getting through to the next round is by bringing Millwall back to their home and depending on the strength of the two sides, it’s not inconceivable to think that with the pressure off, the Dale will go all out.

Written by Ian Waterhouse

Ian Waterhouse is a sports, fitness and betting writer with extensive experience in all sectors of the gambling industry. When he’s not trawling through the odds, you’ll probably find Ian on the golf course – probably the bunker!