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FA Cup Semi-Final Preview: Millwall v Wigan Athletic

FA Cup Semi-Final Preview: Millwall v Wigan Athletic by ESPN commentator Derek Rae

This is one of those games that may not have the obvious glamour of Man City v Chelsea, but I suspect will prove just as exciting.

Derek RaeIt is the semi-final for the underdogs, at Wembley, involving two teams not as accustomed to the limelight as their counterparts in the other semi.

Surprisingly, it is premiership side Wigan who are in their first FA Cup semi-final, with Millwall having made it to the final, and despite the loss, making it to Europe back in 2004.

I have seen a bit of Millwall in this FA Cup season, and I think it is true to say that they have had success as a counter attacking team. I would expect them to take this approach against Wigan.

Actually, for me, Wigan are the team who will likely have to deviate from the usual plan. They will feel they have to take the game to the opposition.

However, with the dogged and emotional play we have seen by Millwall, led at the back by the man-mountain Danny Shittu, they are very capable and very confident at the moment.

Millwall have been at their best in the FA Cup this season waiting for moments and pouncing, as at Blackburn in the quarter-final replay.  It would be out of character for Kenny Jackett and Millwall to think they can go to Wembley and dictate the terms.

It is all about settling into the game, avoiding mistakes early on to take confidence and go for the set-piece or the moment of magic as they did at Blackburn.

As for Wigan, they have beaten a wide variety of opponents this season, including Everton in the last round. They showed they are a dangerous side by taking them by surprise with 3 goals in as many minutes! The tricky part for Roberto Martinez men is the approach, they will be the team expected to dictate the match.

As for the final, in the FA Cup we have learned that underdogs sometimes have their day. Whoever wins this will be underdogs for the final. We have seen the underdog win before, so absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t see that again.

Millwall v Wigan in the FA Cup Semi-final is live on ESPN at 4.15pm on Saturday. ESPN is searching for the greatest FA Cup Semi-finals- vote for your favourite at ESPN.co.uk/facuppoll

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