Gary Rowett has warned his Millwall side they will have to “use the ball very well” to prevent Brentford building up a head of steam in Saturday’s derby.
The Lions’ hopes of a top-six finish are over after a 3-0 reverse last time out to Swansea City at The Den.
Brentford ended a run of four successive draws with a 5-0 drubbing of Preston at Deepdale in their most recent fixture.
The Bees are the Championship’s top scorers with 71 goals – AFC Bournemouth (66) and Norwich (65) the nearest clubs to them.
Lions boss Rowett said: “They are a good side. They have got a very, very strong philosophy that they’ve been able to build for quite a time with Thomas [Frank] there and a good infrastructure. They have a very defined way of playing, they are a possession-based side. What they have also done over the last couple of years is add a little bit of physicality as well with the likes of [Ivan] Toney, [Pontus] Jansson and [Christian] Norgaard – they’ve added experience as well as very good quality in terms of Toney with the goals.
“They played a different system last game, so they are unpredictable as well. But you also know when you play Brentford what they are going to do and what you need to do well yourself to try and stop it. I don’t think that changes too much, regardless of what our opponents do.
“We’re going to have to be at our best, like we were when we played really well against them earlier in the season. And we were like that against Watford, twice against Norwich and lots of other games this season. We’ll have to be very defensively strong but also use the ball very well. Against teams like this if you don’t use the ball well you come under pressure for longer periods. Part of anyone’s gameplan is that you have to attack and have that spirit. But your defensive structure also has to be sound as well because they move the ball well.”
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