The pressure on Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert continues to intensify as he takes his inexperienced side to what is sure to be a partisan crowd at the New Den to take on Championship side Millwall.
The Villains’ season has entered into freefall of late, dropping to just a single place outside the relegation zone after going without a league win since early December before being dumped out of the Capital One Cup semi-finals with an ignominious defeat to League 2 club Bradford City over two legs. That defeat brought down a rain of abuse from the Villa Park faithful and has reportedly left Lambert fighting for his job.
With that in mind, the Scot is said to make limited changes to his starting XI for the testing encounter with Millwall. Defender Nathan Baker misses out with a hamstring problem while Richard Dunne remains a couple of weeks away from a first-team return. Chris Herd and Marc Albrighton (both ankle) are also absent but Darren Bent could be given a starting role alongside either Christian Benteke or Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Kenny Jackett’s Lions are on course for another season of model consistency in the Championship and currently lie a more than respectable ninth, just five points off the play-off positions.
Up front, Millwall are a tad short with on-loan Derby forward Nathan Tyson injured while top scorer Darius Henderson has transferred to Nottingham Forest. Elseqhere, Martyn Woolford is cup-tied, Shane Lowry is suspended and Scott Malone misses out with a back injury.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Aston