Rovers return to league action to take on Burton Albion at the Keepmoat Stadium this weekend.
Darren Moore’s side were beaten 2-1 by Manchester United U21s in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday night, having had their previous league game at Tranmere Rovers postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Burton were also in action in midweek as they were beaten 3-1 in the Carabao Cup by Premier League side Leicester City.
Burton currently sit in 13th position in Sky Bet League One after two wins in their past six league games.
After a home defeat to Ipswich Town on the opening day of the season, they picked up their first three points with a hard fought 2-1 victory at Gillingham a week later. Their good away record continued when despite tasting defeat at home to Rotherham, they responded with arguably their best result of the season as they beat Oxford United 4-2 at the Kassam Stadium.
August came to an end with a goalless draw at Shrewsbury followed by their first home win of the campaign against Bristol Rovers. September began with back-to-back draws, with stalemates coming at home to Coventry City and away at Portsmouth respectively. Their first defeat on the road came towards the end of the month when they were beaten 2-1 by Tranmere at Prenton Park, as they conceded twice in second-half stoppage time after Lucas Akins had given them the lead.
The Brewers responded well to that defeat and their first league game in October yielded a comfortable 3-0 victory at MK Dons, before being beaten at Fleetwood a fortnight later. Burton haven’t conceded a goal in their past two games, with a 1-0 victory over Wimbledon coming before a goalless draw against Blackpool at the Pirelli Stadium.
Who’s the gaffer?
Nigel Clough is the man in charge of the Brewers, currently in his second stint in the hot-seat at the Pirelli Stadium.
His first spell in charge saw him spend 11 years in the dugout, all but one of which he was also registered as a player. He left the Brewers with them flying high in the Conference in 2009, taking the job at Derby County, before making a move to take control of Sheffield United. Whilst at Bramall Lane, he led the Blades to the FA Cup semi-final, where they would narrowly miss out on a place in the final after being defeated by Premier League side Hull City.
Clough returned to Burton in 2015, with his first game back in charge of the Brewers coming against Rovers at the Pirelli Stadium in a 3-3 draw, and he has since gone on to take charge of 201 games in his second spell, winning 69, drawing 48 and losing 84. This leaves him with a total win percentage of 34.3%.
Ones to watch
The creative midfielder joined the Brewers at the start of last season from Scottish Championship side Dundee United. Fraser came through the youth system at Tannadice and went on to play more than 100 times for the club, before deciding to move onto pastures new. The 24-year-old scored seven goals in his first season at the Pirelli, and already has five to his name in the current campaign including a hat-trick in the win at Oxford United in August.
The powerful forward has been a key part of the Burton side since signing from Stevenage in the summer of 2014. After spells in Scotland with Hamilton and Partick Thistle, Akins returned to English football with Tranmere where he produced several eye-catching performances and that persuaded Stevenage to pay a substantial fee for him. He scored 10 goals in 49 appearances at the Lamex Stadium before then Brewers boss Gary Rowett snapped him up, and he would go on to be a great signing as he helped the club secure consecutive promotions from Sky Bet League Two to the Championship. The 30-year-old has been named as Supporters’ and Players Player of the Year for the past two seasons, scoring more than 20 goals in the process.
The Brewers secured Liam’s services for a club record fee from Scottish Premiership side Ross County in the summer of 2017, following a goal-laden two-year spell that saw him score 48 goals in 99 appearances for the Staggies. A serious knee injury prevented him from making his debut for the club until the following February, but he has more than made up for it since with a proven goal-scoring record. He has followed up 14 goals last season with seven already in the current campaign, making him Burton’s top scorer.
Who’s the ref?
Neil Hair will be the man in charge when Rovers take on Burton at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday, and you can find out more about him here.
Last time out
The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw when they last met at the Keepmoat Stadium in January. Defender John Brayford put Nigel Clough’s side ahead with just eight minutes gone, before half-time substitute Tyler Smith scored twice on his Rovers debut to turn the game on it’s head. The Brewers would go home with a share of the spoils though as Brayford scored his second in the final few seconds of normal time.