After another draw in the league, Aston Villa travel to the Pirelli Stadium face newly relegated League One side Burton Albion. Steve Bruce will be looking to give the fans a decent cup run this season so a win on Tuesday night is very important.
Burton finished 23rd in the championship last season and was subsequently relegated. The Burton faithful would’ve been hoping for a swift return back to the Championship and to be battling it out with the league’s big hitters.
However, things haven’t gone to plan for Nigel Clough’s men who find themselves sitting worryingly in 21st place after winning just one of their first 5 league games losing the other 4. Burtons only win came on the third game of the season in a 1-0 win at home to Doncaster Rovers.
The Brewers last league game was a disappointing 3-1 loss away to 22nd placed Oxford United. To add insult to injury, Burton was reduced to 10 men in the 87th minute thanks to Jamie Allen being sent off. This didn’t affect the scoreline though as it was 3-1 after the 69th minute.
As a result of this poor start, Bet365 are offering 20/1 on Burton to be promoted and 3/1 for them to be relegated making them 6th favourites for the drop.
Burton has only scored 4 goals this season with striker Liam Boyce the clubs top scorer so far on three with Marvin Sordell netting the other. It looks like Burton are missing Llyod Dyer who I was always impressed with when I saw him play. The 35-year-old finished as Burton’s top scorer last season with 7 goals whilst managing to pick up 2 assists as well but was released at the end of last campaign.
As well as losing their top scorer, Burton lost arguably one of their best players over the summer when 19-year old Manchester City midfielder Jacob Davenport didn’t return on loan to the Brewers and has since joined Blackburn Rovers.
The Big Match
It is likely that we will see Steve Bruce utilise his squad depth in this game. I would expect to see most of the first team that he intends to play against Sheffield United rested both to have a break as well as prevent the chance of them picking up an injury.
I think we will see the likes of Henry Lansbury, Tommy Elphick, Ritchie De Laet, Jame Bree etc. get game time whilst we may see the inclusion of a few youth players. It’s widely predicted that Rushian Hepburn-Murphy will lead the line on Tuesday. Whilst it’s good he’s getting a chance, if Bruce opts with Hepburn-Murphy, I would hope he learnt from the Yeovil game where he was isolated and made very little to no impact on the game due to his size.
One player who was important for Burton last season was Lucas Akins. The right wing-back was the sides second highest goal scorer in the league with 5 whilst picking up 6 assists as well. Certainly, a player that they will be happy to have kept hold of in League One and if Burton is to pose a threat to Villa at any point, he may be key to that.
As I have already stated, Bruce is expected to make a large number of changes for the clash.
Bruce will be without Scott Hogan, Callum O’Hare and Keinan Davis.