They say what goes around comes around, and after City came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Shrewsbury the last season the sides met, the Shrews got their revenge on Tuesday night. The gaps in City’s defence showed, with Cheick Diabate now set to miss around six weeks with a stress fracture. With Alex Hartridge only fit enough for the bench Josh Key
deputised as an emergency centre back. Worse still was Jonathan Grounds going down late on against Shrewsbury, but hopefully his knock won’t prevent him taking the field on Saturday, while the twenty minutes or so that Hartridge played may be enough to put him back in against Burton. Elsewhere Rekeem Harper was given his full league debut on Tuesday in place of Tim Dieng, but the attacking strength on the bench was in evidence with Jay, Stansfield, Smith and Cox all ready to step in.
It’s fair to say that Burton’s start to the season has been little short of disastrous. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink departed last week, with his assistant Dino Maamria stepping up to replace him, and his first away match in charge sees the Brewers now three points adrift at the bottom of the table and already seven points from safety. Maamria’s first task will be to repair a porous defence that has conceded 22 goals in their first eight games including three times conceding four. Summer signings included Davis Kellior-Dunn from Oldham and Sam Winnall from Oxford, the former is the joint top scorer with three goals alongside Gassan Ahadme. John Brayford is another to watch, the veteran defender has notched over 300 Burton appearances across two spells and has commanded seven figure fees during his career.
For the second successive match City will be coming up against a side that was promoted from League Two in 2014/15, Burton pipping Shrewsbury to the title. Both matches took place relatively early in the season as the clubs brought forward the scheduled midweek fixture at the Park to FA Cup 2nd round weekend due to both sides losing in the first round – that match finished 1-1 – Blyth gave the Brewers the lead before Christian Ribeiro equalised late on. Back in August Burton had won 1-0 through a Stuart Beavon strike. That win extended Burton’s league head to head lead over City to 8-5, three matches finishing level.