Burton Albion find themselves inside the Championship relegation zone. What’s your take on The Brewers’ season so far?
It’s been all or nothing this season. I suppose a lot of fans hoped that Burton would kick on after securing survival against all odds last term. An atrocious run between September and the start of November followed a good start; beating Millwall just before the international break was really important. They’ve produced some brilliant performances but when it has gone wrong, it has tended to go badly wrong. Inconsistent is the best way to describe it.
Burton are the second lowest scorers in the league (11) and have won just once on the road all season. Do you think there’s a solution Nigel Clough can implement to change this?
Away from home they’ve got a bit of a template which is working well; they set up as very hard to break down and are willing to soak up plenty of pressure. As the game goes on, and the frustration builds on the home team, they look to strike on the counter. It has been very effective defensively as they’ve kept four clean sheets in their last five away games.
We’re already a third of the way through the season, so what do you think is a realistic aim for the months ahead?
It has to be survival again, really. The Manager and the players all said before the start of the season that their second year in the Championship was going to be harder than the first; their surprise-package status meant that teams didn’t really know what to expect last year, whereas this season they aren’t being taken as lightly. The players feel they’ve got a better squad now and if they can start getting some results under their belts, they want to kick on and finish higher than last season.
What should Dean Smith and his squad be expecting in terms of the way Burton set up on Tuesday evening?
Whether they set-up in a 5-3-2 or with a four-man defence as they did at Millwall, they’ll make themselves hard to beat and they won’t be overly ambitious. That’s not to say they’ll sit back for the duration, but they certainly won’t stretch themselves early on - they’ll wait and hope the chances fall their way.
Can I grab your score prediction for the game?
I’m awful with predictions! Brentford have enough quality to break Burton down, but The Brewers look to have cracked it on the road. A lot of me thinks it’ll be low scoring so I’ll go with a 1-1 draw.
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