PREVIEW: Burton Albion vs Argyle
On Saturday lunchtime, the Greens travel to the Pirelli Stadium to take on Burton Albion in Sky Bet League One.
The Brewers lie one position and one point below Argyle in the table, winning their last three games, including a 3-0 win away at Doncaster Rovers.
Following a goalless first half, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men went ahead in the 59th minute, as Ryan Edwards played through to Lucas Akins, who drilled an effort underneath Rovers’ goalkeeper.
Two goals in the space of six minutes then put the game to bed, as Edwards laid on another assist for Tom Hamer, before John Brayford’s header met an unmarked Hayden Carter, who coolly finished from close range.
In their last home game, the Brewers bagged a 2-1 win over Swindon Town. Hamer put the Brewers ahead on 26 minutes, with his first goal for the club, before Jack Payne cancelled it out just under ten minutes later. Brayford then secured the win as he headed home a free-kick.
In our reverse league at Home Park back in October, the Pilgrims secured their second win of the season with a solid 2-0 victory. Top goalscorer Luke Jephcott, who had just returned from an injury, scored the opening goal 25 minutes in, before Byron Moore ended the game two minutes into the second half.
Leicester-loanee Sam Hughes suffered a knee injury back in December and is expected to be out for the rest of the season, whilst Kieran Wallace will also a long-term absentee as he picked up an ACL injury.
Jonny Smith has not been in the squad for the Brewers for their last two games, but is due to be back in contention for Saturday.
For Argyle, George Cooper remains the Greens’ only long-term absentee. Versatile midfielder Conor Grant is nearing a return following a groin injury, while defender Sam Woods is also close to making a full recovery following a hamstring strain.
The managers said:
Ryan Lowe: “We can’t take Burton for granted, they’re flying high at the moment, picking up plenty of good results. They’re probably still wanting to get more points on the board, so we’ve just got to make sure that we’re competitive right the way from now until the end of the season.
“They are a good team; they’ve got some good players. They’ll be well drilled, with how they play, how they adapt and what they do. [Hasselbaink]’s definitely galvanised the group. He’s done a fantastic job and he will be wanting to continue that but, ultimately, we want to finish the season on a high also and we want to go and showcase our abilities.”
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: “We have turned it around very quickly. The players have really listened, believed and worked hard but it’s not finished yet and we still have matches to play and at the end of the season we will look, assess and see how we have really done.
“The pressure is little bit off us now compared with where we were before, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t approach the game in the right way, play it in the right way, and hopefully get another three points.”
ARGYLE AWAY TO BURTON ALBION IN THE EFL
The record: P 5 W 0 D 2 L 3 F 3 A 6
The first time: 3 September, 2011. nPower League Two. Burton Albion 2 Argyle 1
Justin Richards gave Albion the lead in first half stoppage time and Calvin Zola doubled their advantage on 57 minutes. On loan winger Will Atkinson scored a consolation goal for the Greens in the 90th minute but it wasn’t enough to prevent our fifth successive league defeat.
The last time: 29 December, 2018. Sky Bet League One. Burton Albion 1 Argyle 1
Argyle were bottom of League One going into their match with the Brewers at Christmas time in 2018. Will Miller gave the hosts a fourth minute lead, but Ruben Lameiras’ 52nd minute strike earned Derek Adams’ men a 1-1 draw.
Biggest win: We have yet to win at Burton. Aside from our draw on our last visit, we also drew 1-1 in November 2014. Reuben Reid equalised for John Sheridan’s team from the penalty spot in the 70th minute. Albion had taken the lead on 32 minutes through former Pilgrim Alex MacDonald.
Most goals in a single game: Three in our 1-2 defeat on our first visit in 2011.
Saturday's fixture kicks off at 12.30pm, and is available to stream live on iFollow Argyle. Click here to purchase your pass.