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Pre-match Report: Millwall

Aston Villa will visit Millwall at The Den to wrap up the regular season for both sets of clubs. While Villa would have preferred this fixture to be a celebration of automatic promotion, Villa sit firmly in 4th position. The Claret & Blue will definitely use the ever present disorderly atmosphere at The Den as a warm-up of sorts for the oncoming Championship playoffs.

Not to be forgotten about, Villa keeper Sam Johnstone stirred up a bit of trouble the last time he played against Millwall. Johnstone cleared a ball into the away end at Villa Park earlier in the season. A Millwall supporter claimed that the ball that Johnstone hoofed into the crowd struck their child. While the age of technology makes people aggrandise stories in a multitude of ways, Johnstone seems like a consummate professional and there seemed to be no malice in his clear towards the Millwall supporters. While tempers flared on that day back in December then quickly regained reason, Millwall supporters can be known to have a very good memory of such occasions in the past.

Selection could be a roll of the dice for Steve Bruce. Birkir Bjarnason has been out recently with a back injury. Neil Taylor is still suffering from a hamstring issue as well. Axel Tuanzebe probably won’t wear an Aston Villa shirt again in the calendar year, let alone the final game of the season or the playoffs. Albert Adomah has seen a slight drop in form over the past few weeks, which is a hard pill to swallow for many Aston Villa die hard supporters. Villa gaffer Steve Bruce would be wise to rest Jack Grealish, Glenn Whelan and Lewis Grabban among others. This leaves a little bit of mystery to who will be in the midfield for Villa gainst Millwall, but Henri Lansbury and Joshua Onomah could find themselves in the starting eleven.

Andre Green featured for the U23’s in their Premier League Cup Final victory for 55 minutesĀ on Friday. This is a good sign for the young starlet as he is trying to regain fitness after a niggling injury. It would not be a long shot to see Green included in the match day squad in some capacity. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy played the entire 120 minutes plus penalties for the U23 in the same game, and can definitely be ruled out for getting any time. James Bree was not included in the U23 side that defeated Swansea to lift the Premier League Cup silverware, and may find himself as the starting right-back at The Den.

Words by Mark Jirobe (@VillaMarkPGH) // Follow us on Twitter (@claretandview)

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