After back-to-back wins on the road, the fixture computer has continued to dish out opponents from our brief sojourn in non-league with the visit of Burton Albion. The adage “never change a winning side” doesn’t necessarily apply to Paul Tisdale, although it would appear currently the majority of the side picks itself. With a week having elapsed since the last match too this may mean the side remains untinkered, although there may be a change necessary on the bench with Jordan Moore-Taylor having limped out of the reserves match in midweek.
So, what of Saturday’s opponents, Burton Albion? Having made the playoff semis in the season City finally escaped from the Conference, Burton went one better in 2009, winning the title, albeit only after a huge wobble in the latter part of the season that saw their double-figure lead eroded to virtually nothing following Nigel Clough’s move to Derby; indeed, only the fact they matched Cambridge’s result on the final day ensured they won the title. Since then Burton haven’t exactly set League Two alight, failing to register a top-half finish in their three seasons in the league. Last season a horrible run took them to the brink of the relegation dogfight, before the Brewers eventually finished 17th, although the poor run saw Paul Peschisolido ousted in favour of Gary Rowett.
This season has been somewhat topsy-turvey for Rowett’s side. They currently sit in 15th place in the table with a win and two defeats – both losses coming to pre-season favourites in Rotherham and Fleetwood, while their victory saw them put six past hapless AFC Wimbledon. They have also enjoyed notable scalps in the Capital One Cup, knocking out Sheffield United on penalties before shocking Leicester 4-2 on Tuesday night. Amongst the scorers that night was Cleveland Taylor, who had a short spell on loan at City in the notorious relegation season, making three appearances for the Grecians. Other players to watch will no doubt include Billy Kee, the ex-Torquay striker and one-time City target scored 12 goals for Burton last season.
Burton enjoy a slight advantage when it comes to meetings with City, with 5 wins to City’s 4 and one draw – a memorable 4-4 at the Pirelli Stadium on the final day of the 07/08 season. Earlier in what proved to be a successful season for City, Burton came down to The Park and shocked City 4-1, Shaun Harrad and Daryl Clare each notching a brace after Jamie Mackie put City in front.