While last season saw almost certain doom transform into a remarkable turnaround, this term has been a much more mellow affair for Burton Albion.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side arrive at the Eco-Power Stadium sitting 16th in Sky Bet League One with any concerns over a drop into the league below now a distant memory.
If Rovers are to have any hope of surviving in their remaining two matches, they need to create a major swing in goal difference. But Burton’s defensive record provides little heart – with the Brewers having registered clean sheets in each of their last four matches, including the midweek 2-0 triumph over promotion-chasing Rotherham United.
Hasselbaink returned to the club last January and sparked an incredible recovery, picking the Brewers up off the bottom of the table and guiding them to safety.
This season brought hope for even better and the former Dutch international relied on valuable loan players in the first half of the campaign, including Sheffield United striker Daniel Jebbison.
With Jebbison recalled by the Blades in January and Thomas O’Connor and Kane Hemmings switching to Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers respectively, Burton lost three players who contributed 45 per cent of their total goals this term.
Veteran defender John Brayford now leads the way with six goals while Joe Powell and Jonny Smith have both netted four goals. Former Everton forward Oumar Niasse has netted three times since his arrival at the club in February.
Opposition teams have managed to shut out the Brewers on 15 occasions this season while Burton have conceded three or more goals in eight matches this term.
Goalscoring was strong earlier in the season but Burton have scored just twice so far in April – both coming against Rotherham earlier this week.
If Burton score twice or more in a game, it tends to lead to a win with a record of 13 victories and one draw from 15 such occasions.
Recent form has seen Burton win just two of their last ten fixtures in Sky Bet League One, with three draws. Stretching to the last 15 matches, the record is three wins and five draws.
Burton and Rovers met for the first time in the EFL in December 19. Since that date they have shared three wins apiece, with four draws. The Brewers have yet to lose on any of their visits to the Eco-Power Stadium.
They triumphed 2-0 against Rovers in the reverse fixture in November.