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League 1 Spotlight: Burton Albion

Tom Hancock takes a look at the Brewers.

11 July 2018

After upsetting the odds to manage a two-season stay in the Championship, it’s rather a case of back to reality for Burton – although 2018/19 will only be their second ever campaign in League One.

The Derbyshire outfit haven’t come down with as much of a thud as Barnsley or Sunderland, and while the fact that they’ve now played Championship football may well leave them hungry for more, they won’t find themselves under the same weight of expectation as those two.

Nigel Clough and his side will have to be wary, though, of how possible it is to plummet down the divisions after reaching an all-time high – as recent Championship underdogs Yeovil Town will attest. As long as they avoid any sort of hangover, though, and recruit well, there’s no reason why they can’t enjoy a comfortable return to League One.

Last season: 23rd in Championship

In charge: Nigel Clough
Appointed in December 2015, Clough came in as a returning hero after the success of his first spell in charge between 1998 and 2009. Player-manager for almost all of that time, he guided the Brewers to the Northern Premier League title in 2002 and put them on course to win the Conference in 2009. He left part way through the 2008/09 campaign to take over at Derby – who his father had led to the First Division title back in 1972 – where he remained for the best part of five years. Just over a year-and-a-half at Sheffield United followed, before he returned to Burton to continue the great adventure he'd begun with all those years ago.

Star player: Lucas Akins
Akins has risen through the divisions with the Brewers, having signed from Stevenage in the summer of 2014. Able to play as a centre-forward, along the right wing or even in central midfield, the 29-year-old netted five goals and assisted six in 2017/18, with his consistent and hard-working performances earning him the fans’ and players’ player of the season awards.

Key ins: Creative duo David Templeton and Scott Fraser joined last week from Hamilton Academical and Dundee United respectively, the former a winger and the latter an attacking midfielder.

Key outs: Three players have signed for fellow League One clubs on free transfers, with centre-back Tom Flanagan moving to Sunderland, midfielder Hope Akpan joining Bradford, and the versatile Tom Naylor departing for Portsmouth. Veteran defenders Shaun Barker and Stephen Warnock have retired.

EFL head-to-head:
Meetings: 8
Wycombe wins: 3
Burton wins: 5
Draws: 0

First meeting: 09/10/2010 (League Two): Burton 1-2 Wycombe (Wycombe scorers: Andy Sandell, Gareth Ainsworth)

Last meeting: 06/04/2015 (League Two): Burton 1-0 Wycombe

Last Wycombe win: 24/11/2012 (League Two): Wycombe 3-0 Burton (scorers: Matt McClure (2), Joel Grant (p))

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