Millwall host Brighton as they look to claim another Premier League scalp


Despite Millwall’s poor league position, the FA Cup has been a positive distraction. Already this season the Lions have beaten Everton at The Den and they look to beat another Premier League side as they host Brighton.

Currently in a relegation battle, the London based side have used the cup run as relief away from their tragic league form. Going into this match they’ve won nine matches out of 37 as they sit 19th, just one point off of Rotherham in the drop zone.

Brighton haven’t fared much better in the Premier League. Though 15th in the league they are only five points ahead of 18th placed Cardiff City though the South coast, side do have a game in hand ahead over them.

The Lions have been one of the most successful sides in the FA Cup outside of the Premier League, having won their last five home FA Cup ties against top-flight opposition opponents, last losing in February 2012, to  Owen Coyle’s Bolton Wanderers.

Chris Hughton’s side, however, haven’t got history on their side as they have failed to win three consecutive away FA Cup ties since December 1932, though now would be a good time to change that against Championship opposition.

It’s the second Quarter-Final in three years for Millwall as the hosts reach their 11th ever last eight tie in the FA Cup, last time the Lions got here they lost 6-0 to Tottenham at White Hart Lane back in the 2016-2017 campaign.

Opponents Brighton have only ever reached this stage on three other occasions, while they have only progressed once that being in 1982-1983 after they beat Norwich City 1-0, that year they went on to reach the final losing to Manchester United.

Until the last match, Millwall’s run was a difficult read for the home fans as they had lost four in a row in the league and were staring relegation in the face after Rotherham picked up nine points in their last six games.

“The Lions have been one of the most successful sides in the FA Cup outside of the Premier League, having won their last five home FA Cup ties against top-flight opposition opponents.”

But the four games that the Lions lost to Preston North End, Norwich City (3-1), Hull City and Bolton Wanderers (2-1) have easily been forgotten about as they beat Birmingham City 2-0 away midweek.

Although the Seagulls are still contenders to get relegated, after two big wins against other struggling sides Crystal Palace and Huddersfield, the expectation is that Brighton should be fine if results keep going the same way for the sides around them.

With their destiny in their own hands, they have two crucial games between now and the end of the season to confirm their status as a Premier League team. Those games are Southampton at home on 30th March while they host Newcastle United on 27th April, by the second game there could have already been confirmed as survivors.



The Lions’ FA Cup run that has seen them get this far started on a Sunday too,  also at The Den. On 6th January. they hosted fellow Championship side Hull and had to come from behind to win that game. The score ended 2-1 to the hosts after substitute Shane Ferguson came off the bench to score twice in three minutes.

In the fourth round, the challenge got harder for Neil Harris and his men as they faced off against Marco Silva’s Everton side. Murray Wallace scored the winner late in added time as they beat the Toffees 3-2 after coming from behind twice against the Premier League side.

AFC Wimbledon were Millwall’s most recent opponents in the FA Cup, as the London side travelled only 13 miles to face off in an all London last sixteen match at Kingsmeadow. This time it only took one goal for the away side to win as defender Wallace scored his second in as many matches.


The Seagulls’ FA Cup campaign started at Bournemouth as Brighton beat their only Premier side they have had to face so far, Chris Hughton’s men winning 3-1. Anthony Knockaert scored the first before Yves Bissouma netted from 30 yards. Marc Pugh did add a goal for Bournemouth but Florin Andone’s header in the 64th minute wrapped up the scoring.

It took a fourth-round replay to make it through to the fifth round. After drawing 0-0 with West Brom at the Amex Stadium, Brighton travelled to The Hawthorns. When playing in West Midlands the Premier League side were taken to extra time where a double from substitute Glenn Murray won the match.

Last time out Hughton’s side beat Frank Lampard’s Derby County 2-1 to progress into the Quarter-Finals. First-half goals from Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia were enough to win the match though Rams veteran Ashley Cole did get one back for the away side.


Millwall manager Harris gave his opinion on the expected atmosphere for Sunday’s game:

“The Den will be rocking at the weekend, even more so after we beat Birmingham, everyone will be more vibrant and positive.

“The players can, not relax and enjoy it because they’ll enjoy it anyway, but I think this puts us in a good place for the next two-and-a-half weeks.

“We can’t control what happens Saturday in the league with the teams around us. What we can do is focus on Sunday and really enjoy it and know that when we come back to play Leeds away that we’ll be going there on the back of that performance.”

Seagulls boss Hughton says this match is for the supporters:

“The excitement at this stage of the competition is normal.

“It means a lot to the supporters – to have the possibility to be in the last four is always tough when you get to this stage. It’s an open competition now.”


The hosts will be without two-time FA Cup scorer Wallace as the centre-back turned full-back has been ruled out for the rest of the season with damage to his knee and ankle. Welsh striker Tom Bradshaw will also miss this game as he steps up his recovery from his knee injury.

Three players are cup-tied for Millwall including Ben Thompson who scored a double in their rare win midweek against Birmingham, the other two are on-loan Norwich City winger Ben Marshall and Fred Onyedinma.

There was a worry that striker Lee Gregory would miss this game after he was subbed off in that last match with a groin strain but he will be tested ahead of the game to see if he can play any part.

Brighton will be without three players for this crucial cup tie as both Florin Andone and Pascal Gross have been ruled out with a groin and hamstring problem respectively, While midfielder Bissouma is suspended after picking up two yellow cards.

Leon Balogun has returned to training following a shoulder injury, which could make the Nigerian international part of Hughton’s plans for this tie.

Former Halifax Town striker Gregory is the top scorer for the London based club scoring 12 times in 40 games, his last came in that 2-1 loss to Bolton last weekend though he did get two assists on Wednesday in the Birmingham win.

Veteran striker Murray leads the goal scoring ranks for the Seagulls with 13 in 31 games for the Premier League side. He is Albion’s current joint top scorer in the FA Cup as well with two. The last goal Murray scored was the opener in the M23 derby last weekend.


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