Rovers host Sky Bet League One opposition in Burton Albion as they look for a vital victory in the bid to book a place in the knockout stages of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.
Like Rovers – and Mansfield Town – Burton sit on three points in the group, having beaten Everton U21s 2-0, just as Grant McCann’s side did.
That game against the young Toffees is the Brewers’ only outing so far in the competition, with a game against Mansfield still to come.
Rovers round off their Northern Group H campaign against Burton, needing a victory to give themselves a realistic chance of progression in the competition.
LAST TIME OUT
Port Vale 0 Burton Albion 0
Emirates FA Cup First Round, Saturday, November 4, 2023
Line up: Crocombe, Hamer, Sweeney, Moon, Caprice, Powell, Carayol (Gordon 78), Helm (Bennett 69), Oshilaja, Walker, Lubala (Stockton 62).
Former Rovers striker Dino Maamria took to the helm at Burton Albion in September 2022 after a spell with the club as assistant to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
The Tunisian turned out 53 times for Rovers and also had a notable spell with Stevenage where he won the FA Trophy in 2009.
Maamria returned to Stevenage in 2018 for a year-long spell in charge and spent time at Oldham Athletic before arriving at the Brewers.
THE KEY MEN
Goalkeeper: Max Crocombe
The 30-year-old started his career on the non-league circuit with Buckingham Town before joining Oxford United.
In 2019 he helped Salford City to the EFL before heading down under with Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory. Upon his return to England, he played 72 times for Grimsby Town before joining Burton in June of this year.
Defender: Jasper Moon
A former Leicester City academy product, Moon finished his youth journey with Barnsley and turned professional in 2019 after featuring in a 2-1 win over Rotherham United in the Championship.
He only played 28 times for the Tykes and was sent out on loan to the Brewers for the second half of last season before making the move permanently in the summer.
In the middle: Joe Powell
The 25-year-old came through the ‘Academy of Football’ at West Ham United to graduate as a professional in 2016 but did not make a senior appearance.
In 2019 he had a loan spell at Northampton Town before joining Burton in 2020 where has gone on to play 133 times and score 18 times.
Up top: Beryly Lubala
Democratic Republic of Congo forward Lubala has scored three goals already in his debut season for Burton.
He started his career at Birmingham City before spells with Crawley Town and Blackpool. After two loan spells in League Two he joined the Brewers in the summer and has already turned out on ten occasions for the club.
Rovers first met the Brewers in the 2002/03 Conference season and ran out 2-1 winners at Eton Park in the December of that campaign. Dave Penney’s side completed a league double in the return fixture at Belle Vue with a 1-0 triumph.
Rovers narrowly lead the 13-game head-to-head rivalry between the two sides with five wins in comparison to Burton’s three.
The last meeting between the sides saw Rovers run out 2-0 winners at the Eco-Power Stadium with Joe Dodoo and Josh Martin getting on the scoresheet on that occasion.
TURNED OUT FOR BOTH
Former Rovers player and manager Darren Moore also turned out for Burton Albion towards the end of his 20-year playing career.
The former Jamaican international signed for Rovers from Torquay United In 1995 and scored seven times in 76 appearances as well as winning the club’s player of the year award before leaving for Bradford City in 1997.
He went on to play for Portsmouth, West Bromwich Albion, Derby County and Barnsley before joining the Brewers in 2010, where he retired and moved into coaching.
Since hanging up his boots Moore has managed West Brom, Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and is currently in charge at Championship side Huddersfield Town.
Contributor: Jefferson Hall-Nolan