Burton Albion vs Brentford
Tuesday 6 March
Pirelli Stadium, 7.45pm
Sky Bet Championship
The Brewers proved the old adage of 'it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog' when they stayed up last May and they have designs on doing just the same this time round. Dwarfed in size by the other clubs embroiled in the relegation scrap, Nigel Clough's side continue to do just enough to give themselves a fighting chance of securing a third-straight season in the second tier.
If they are to stay up again this term, then their home form will need to improve between now and May. Burton have won just twice in front of their own fans all season, the most recent of those coming against Fulham in September, and have scored just four goals in their last eight home outings.
Nigel Clough bolstered his attacking options in January with the arrival of former England striker Darren Bent and the capture of exciting youngsters Jacob Davenport and Martin Samuelsen, on loan from Manchester City and West Ham United. Three points from safety, and with the worst goal difference in the division, Clough will hope that trio can fire quickly as he looks to steer The Brewers to safety once more.
For Burton, Tom Flanagan and Luke Murphy are back available tonight but Hope Akpan could be sidelined by an ankle injury injury. Defenders John Brayford and Ben Turner will miss out due to calf injuries but Marvin Sordell is expected to be fit after shaking off the effects of illness and a sore toe.
Brentford's injury news is much simpler with only Rico Henry absent due to a long-term knee injury. Otherwise, Dean Smith has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the trip to The Pirelli Stadium.
An accomplished striker during his playing days, Clough, son of legendary manager Brian, earned 14 England caps during a career that took in Nottingham Forest, Liverpool, Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday, and Burton Albion. Clough made his name under his father at Nottingham Forest where he helped The Reds to two League Cup titles and two Full Members Cup titles, scoring 131 goals during his time at The City Ground.
After retiring from professional football in 1998, Clough spent the next decade as player-manager and then manager of Burton taking them from the seventh tier of English football to the brink of the Football League before departing for Derby County in 2009. His four years at Derby saw steady improvement but he was unable to break into the Play-Offs.
After a poor start to the 2013-14 season he was sacked in September, taking charge at Sheffield United a month later. He led The Blades away from the League One relegation zone and to an FA Cup semi-final, exploits which saw him named the LMA FA Cup Manager of the Season. United repeated their cup heroics the following season with a run to the League Cup Semi-Final but it wasn't enough to stop Clough parting company with United at the end of the season. Clough returned to Burton in December 2015 and guided them to promotion six months later.
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