Dale Stephens has called on Albion players to seize their opportunity at Millwall.

And be ready for anything. Because you never know what will happen – or even who will play – on cup day.

Stephens was not initially picked to start either of Albion’s last two FA Cup ties, away to West Bromwich Albion and at home to Derby.

But he played a big part in the latter after illness ruled out Davy Propper on the morning of the match.

As it turns out, Propper has yet to start a cup tie in this run for the Seagulls, although he came off the bench to set up the final goal of the replay win at West Brom.

Beram Kayal and Yves Bissouma are ever-presents after four games.

Stephens has three starts and Alireza Jahanbakhsh played in a midfield or No.10 role in the replay at the Hawthorns.

Now, with Wembley at stake and an international break to follow the Millwall tie, the emphasis might change.

Just as it did a year ago when Albion went to Manchester United at this stage.

So be ready for anything – and have no regrets on what could be a golden opportunity for the club and individuals.

Stephens told The Argus: “Because we have no Premier League game this week, or the week after, it is a one-off game.

“We would treat it like that regardless of the last two results.

“It is an opportunity for the players who play in the competition to go out and show what they can do again.

“It’s a game we’re looking forward to and progressing in the competition. It’s a massive opportunity for us.

“If you look at what has happened in the competition, the teams that have gone out and stayed in, we find ourselves still in it and that’s a welcome situation for ourselves.

“We are looking to progress to a semi-final at Wembley.”

With Bissouma suspended after picking up two FA Cup yellows, the midfield three – if that is what it will be – seems to pick itself.

Kayal, who was widely thought to be playing some of the best football of his career earlier this season, looks a likely starter.

The Argus:

And Propper could also make that first FA Cup start since Old Trafford this time last year (above), when Stephens was recovering from a hamstring injury.

Stephens said: “I didn’t play that game, I watched it on TV, but I thought the boys gave a good account of themselves.

“I thought we did well in the cup last year and we were probably a bit unlucky with the draw we got at the time.

“But it has probably stood them in good stead for this year.

“The cup is a good opportunity for some of the smaller teams in the league and we fit that criteria.

“But we also know the league is our bread and butter and that comes first.”

True – and it could yet affect Albion’s team selection for The Den, especially in areas where options are less limited than they are in midfield.

Last season, Hughton kept faith with Tim Krul in goal at this stage rather than recalling Mathew Ryan.

But Connor Goldson and Uwe Huenemeier, the centre-back pairing in all three previous rounds, missed out.

Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk both made their first FA Cup appearances of the season. Dunk, remember, has not played in the cup yet this year.

Ezequiel Schelotto, first-choice right-back in the Premier League at the time, kept his place rather than Bruno being recalled.

The Argus:

Up front, Leo Ulloa replaced Glenn Murray down the middle and wide berths went to Solly March and Jurgen Locadia (above) rather than Anthony Knockaert and Jose Izquierdo.

Knockaert had been sent off the previous week at Everton and was starting a three-match ban.

But the switch on the left was made out of choice, although Izquierdo came on as sub for March.

Pascal Gross played in his usual No.10 role.

Maybe selection this time will be influenced by the environment in which Albion will be playing.

Rather than the football, the questions going into the Millwall tie seem to be mainly about the expected atmosphere.

Media in south east London have asked us how we expect Albion to cope in the cauldron.

And the subject was raised amid player interviews soon after the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Millwall fans would hate to be likened to their suburban counterparts.

But, asked whether the Selhurst trip was good practice for Sunday, Stephens replied: “Perhaps. We knew those abilities coming to a place like Palace, where it is always tough.

“They play with a lot of tempo, a lot of intent, and they have a lot of good wide players so we knew that we needed to be solid through the centre of the pitch and it was my job to orchestrate that.

“Millwall is a tough place and it is similar to a derby experience.

“Their fans get behind their team and it’s part of what they are good at.

“They are a direct team and an aggressive side.

“We are looking to get on top of them and play our own match as well.

“The manager has chopped and changed in that position throughout the competition.

“If Beram comes in, I am sure he will be ready to take his opportunity, like he has done throughout the competition already.”

Stephens has spoken of a 40-point target for Premier League safety.

Albion have moved to within seven of that.

Arguably they should be there already. The win double over Huddersfield and Palace has kept them out of the drop zone.

Stephens said: “Before the Huddersfield game, we knew we were coming in to a run of fixtures where we could put ourselves, if not at ease, at least space between us and the bottom.

“It’s still not finished. We’ve still got some tough games but we’re off Premier League duty next week and have a big game in the FA Cup.”

Had nerves been creeping in at all?

After all, some fans were starting to talk warily about 1983 all over again.

Stephens said: “I think it is normal. We’d sat on 27 points for too long.

“We had got there but then a bit of complacency set in maybe.

“We knew Huddersfield was a massive game and it turned our season around ahead of Palace as well.

“We’re building from the last two performances – especially with the results.”