After three wins from three to start the season, many saw Burton Albion as dark horses for promotion. However, a run of just 3 wins in 15 matches has followed and The Brewers are instead looking at another season finishing mid-table. Now Burton Albion need FA Cup progression to give them a lift.
Burton Albion Need FA Cup Progression To Make Season Memorable
Cup Competitions Can Make a Season
Since being relegated to League One in 2018, Burton has finished 9th, 12th, and 16th. While last season was exciting as The Brewers made a great escape, the other two seasons were fairly uneventful in the league. Burton would show glimpses of being a playoff team but then inconsistency would cause them to fall away from contention. This season has been the same in that regard, with Burton beating Sunderland and Ipswich Town but losing to the bottom of the league Crewe Alexandra.
In the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, Carabao Cup runs made Burton entertaining to follow. The Brewers reached the semi-finals in 2018/19 and recorded wins over Aston Villa, Burnley, Nottingham Forest, and Middlesbrough. The Brewers lost to Leicester City in the round of 16 in 2019/20 but the run included a memorable win over Bournemouth. The point is cup competitions can make a season. Having a run in the FA Cup this season may give Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink more support and patience from the fans to turn things around in the league. The Brewers exited both the Carabao Cup and the Papa Johns Trophy at the first hurdle so need to keep fans entertained by progressing in the FA Cup.
Fleetwood Provide Tough Test
The Brewers will have to beat familiar opponents if they want to progress. Burton beat Fleetwood in mid-October due to a Tom O’Connor goal. That game marked the first which Burton started with 5 at the back. Despite winning two in a row using this system, The Brewers have now lost their last two so may change the system yet again against Fleetwood. The Cod Army are in poor form themselves, they’ve not won in their last four games.
Fleetwood also plays a 3-5-2 formation but most of their goals come from Centre-back Danny Andrew who’s scored six. In the last meeting between the two sides, Fleetwood had most of the ball with 62% possession but Burton created more big chances, 2 to Fleetwood’s 0, and had more shots on target, 6 compared to Fleetwood’s 3. Burton may have surprised Fleetwood in the first half with their change in the system but in the second Fleetwood stopped The Brewers from having a single shot on target and made them defend well for the win. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side will have to be equally resilient if they’re going to progress in the cup.
Burton Albion Team News
John Brayford and Louis Moult remain out but there don’t appear to be any fresh injury worries for The Brewers. This means that like in previous weeks, Hasselbaink will have to leave up to six first-team players out of his matchday squad. An inflated squad was needed during an early-season injury crisis but now it’s causing more problems than it fixes. Strikers Kane Hemming and Daniel Jebbison areas struggling to get into any rhythm when they are being constantly rotated and Jacob Maddox and Omari Patrick deserve more minutes than they’ve been getting. Hasselbaink will hope he can trim his squad in January and settle on a base of 18 players that are much easier to rotate and give regular minutes too.
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