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Paolo's Preview - Burton Albion

Peterborough United will host Burton Albion in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night, kick-off at 7pm.  Paolo Iantosca spoke to Burton Albion supporter, Evans, to preview tomorrow’s game by reflecting back on last season, players to watch out for and his opinions on their upcoming campaign. 
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The sun sets over the city (Photo: archive.terry-harris.com)

Reflecting on last season

Since their relegation from the Championship two seasons ago, Burton Albion have yet made any sort of move towards League One’s play-off or automatic promotion spots, finishing around mid-table.

The Brewers started off the season well, only losing three games in their opening 10 games, and had a free-scoring Liam Boyce in their side. However, the 29-year-old was sold to Hearts in January, and Burton failed to mount any sort of charge towards the play-off places, falling 12 points behind Fleetwood to finish in 12th.

Evans puts his thoughts on 2019/20 season for Burton and how not replacing their leading man in January hindered the season. He said: “A pretty unremarkable season, in truth. We only briefly threatened the play-off places, and ended up with 12 wins, 11 losses, and a goal difference of 0, finishing the season with a fairly uninspiring 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers. Losing striker Liam Boyce in January without a proper replacement also hindered any chances of achieving more in the season.” 

Last season’s fixtures between both these sides were close-fought, as Peterborough United only managed scrap out a win at Weston Homes Stadium after a thunderous strike by Joe Ward. The reverse fixture hampered Posh’s promotion push with a 1-1 draw at Pirelli Stadium and was second to last game before the season was suspended and later cancelled. 


Peterborough United vs Burton Albion – Past Results 

Burton Albion 1-1 Peterborough United – February 29, 2020
Peterborough United 1-0 Burton Albion – November 23, 2019 
Peterborough United 3-1 Burton Albion – May 4, 2019
Burton Albion 1-2 Peterborough United – October 27, 2018


Who should Posh keep an eye out for?

“Forward Charles Vernam arrived from Grimsby Town this summer to a lot of hype, some of which was aided by footage of his goal of the season against Colchester. He has mostly been deployed on the left-wing so far and looks to be a solid addition with good pace and ability.

"Whether he’ll be played in the Leasing.com Trophy is unknown though, given Burton’s track record of generally not trying too hard in the competition (only one win in thirteen games, overall)”

Charles Vernam scored seven times in his short time at Grimsby Town last season, finishing as second-highest goal scorer at the club. The 22-year-old can play on either wing, majority of the time he’s on the left, as he loves to cut onto his right-foot and have an effort from range. In his time at Grimsby, Vernam had three shots per game – more than any other player – and had 1.35 on target per game in his 27 appearances.

The Leasing Trophy has not known as a priority for many clubs in the EFL, especially with the new campaign on the horizon. Peterborough United will need to keep a close eye of Vernam as his long-range shooting could provide havoc among the back-line, as seen by Cheltenham’s goal at the weekend.


Burton Albion’s topscorers last season: 

1st – Lucas Akins – 9 goals
2nd – Liam Boyce – 8 goals
3rd – Jamie Murphy – 7 goals
4th – Ryan Edwards – 5 goals
5th – Scott Fraser – 5 goals


Which player do they fear the most from Peterborough United’s squad?

“Ivan Toney’s will be big shoes to fill, but Siriki Dembele attracted a bit of attention towards the end of last season and I think he and Mo Eisa could be dangerous up front for the Posh this season.”

Whether we get to see a partnership of Dembele or Eisa is unknown, but the injury to Ricky Jade-Jones might force Darren Ferguson to give one of them a start. Summer signing Jonson Clarke-Harris failed to make his competitive debut for Posh on Saturday but is highly likely to feature in tonight's game. 

What does the season hold for Burton Albion?

The 2020/21 season is set to be a memorable one for the Brewer fans, as it will mark the first season without Nigel Clough after five years of his service. He stepped down as manager in May due to financial impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the club. His legacy will be highly regarded among supporters after leading them to the Championship for the first time in their history back in 2016.

Jake Buxton is now in charge of Burton as player/manager, the first real management job of his career, and Evans is not putting too much pressure on the rookie man this season in his thoughts heading into the new campaign.

“The surprise departure of Nigel Clough makes things interesting. It remains to be seen how Jake Buxton will fare as a manager over the season. The recruitment has been quite inspiring, and keeping hold of the main nucleus of the squad was also paramount – only losing Scott Fraser and Oli Sarkic to other clubs. Early signs from preseason and Friday’s win over Accrington Stanley also seem positive, but in all honesty, I will be happy with a consolidation job and another midtable finish.” 

Burton’s 2020/21 season got off to a better start than Peterborough United’s, as they were pushed all the way to penalties by Accrington Stanley in the Carabao Cup. However, Ben Garratt was the hero, saving two penalties to send Burton through to next round. 


Burton Albion’s 2020/21 – Past results 

Accrington Stanley 1 (4) – 1 (2) Burton Albion