PREVIEW: Burton Albion -v- Wednesday

PREVIEW: Burton Albion -v- Wednesday

After a turbulent weekend, Wednesday resume their Championship campaign at newly-promoted Burton Albion.

The Owls were rocked by the shock absence of Fernando Forestieri at Norwich, but came through unscathed and provided a spirited away performance.

The Owls looked more than comfortable at times at Carrow Road and had chances to win the game.

Carlos Carvalhal will be rightly pleased to have taken four points from two league games, all things considered.

At first there was a sense of dejection, then rejection, then came the apology.

Wednesday seem to have handled the Forestieri situation perfectly. Can the club and the individual move forward together?

We’ll get the first clues at the Pirelli.

 

 

Last game Opposition Result Shots On target Corners Cards Fouls Possession
WEDNESDAY Norwich (A) D 1-1 7 5 4 1 11 54%
BURTON Bristol C (H) L 1-2 17 5 7 1 10 55%

 

 

Hooper mis-fired for Wednesday at Norwich

Hooper mis-fired for Wednesday at Norwich

Wednesday returned from Norwich with a point and a second consecutive league clean sheet. 

Having ridden their luck in the first half, The Owls were more expansive with their play in the second as Bannan, Hooper and Joao all had chances to strike an opener.

Carvalhal was pleased with Wednesday’s application; while fans, pundits and neutrals alike picked out Tom Lees after yet another scintillating defensive display.

The Brewers have struggled to adapt to the rigours of Championship football and have posted two defeats thus far.

Having won many friends with their opening day dazzler at Forest (lost 3-4), Clough’s side were unlucky to lose late on in their first home game against Bristol.

Burton have posted 33 shots in two games but will face a different challenge against one of the division’s strongest back-lines.

 

 

THE FORM BOOK

 

Norwich City (A) Cambridge United (A) Villa (H) Port Vale (H) CD Nacional (A)
WEDNESDAY D 0-0 L 1-2 W 1-0 W 3-0 W 4-0
Bristol City (H) Nottm Forest (A) Mickleover Sports Gresley Rovers Buxton (A)
BURTON L 1-2 L 3-4 L 0-1 L 2-3 D 1-1

 

Wednesday’s unbeaten start to the league season has given everyone encouragement after last season’s disappointment.

Villa looked comfortable for much of the curtain-raiser, while Norwich are the best placed team to get promoted from this division.

The Owls struggled to notch points against fellow promotion hunters last season and have made a good start to rectifying this in the new campaign.

Burton’s last five looks dire but their pre-season included victories over Stoke City and a draw with a strong QPR eleven.

Their enterprising play with possession will likely warn Carvalhal from making too many defensive adjustments as a third clean sheet in a row would likely mean victory for Wednesday.

 

 

HEAD 2 HEAD WEDNESDAY WINS DRAWS BURTON WINS
0 0 0

 

POTTED HISTORY

 

This hasn’t happened for a while.

Clough Jnr (Image: Daily Mail)

Clough Jnr

Wednesday have yet to come up against a new opponent in the league since their 2012 promotion.

Wednesday – like many of Burton’s opponents this season – are accustomed to football at the highest level for the majority of their history.

However, the Brewers have enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame and (comparative) fortune.

Formed in the fifties, Albion spent their entire history in non-league until 2009, when Roy McFarland guided a team crafted by Nigel Clough to the Conference title.

Clough had spent eleven years as player-manager with the Brewers and returned in December to seal a third promotion with the club.

Albion have a knack for spotting talented managers: Clough enjoyed a few years at Derby; Gary Rowett and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink are now highly regarded gaffers at this level.

Many are predicting the second tier to be a bridge too far for the Brewers. Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, AFC Bournemouth, the list goes on: can Burton become the next team to defy the odds at the top end of English football?

 

 

CARVALHAL’S COHORTS

 

Carlos loves to change his sides, as we know.

For the moment, his back five will likely remain unchanged, with reinforcements apparently on their way from other clubs.

Sam Hutchinson will partner Tom Lees at the heart of the defence.

Will Forestieri be involved after his refusal to play on Saturday? Will he start?

The likely outcome is an appearance from the bench. How will the travelling Wednesday fans react?

Steven Fletcher came on at Carrow Road and has been passed fit.

WestwoodPreview

WESTWOOD

HUNT

HUNT

LEES

HUTCHINSON

PUDIL

PUDIL

WALLACE

LEE

LEE

ABDI

ABDI

BANNAN

BANNAN

HOOPER

HOOPER

FLETCHER

FLETCHER

 

KEY PLAYERS

 

Bannan has the key, he's got the secret...

Bannan has the key, he’s got the secret…

Barry Bannan had an excellent game at Norwich. His passing range is excellent but particularly eye-pleasing in tight spaces.

On the tiny Pirelli pitch, the rondos and triangles he can create alongside Abdi, Lee and Wallace will be key.

Bannan enjoys playing against (with the greatest respect) inferior personal opponents.

The odd trick he uses – the Cruyff turns, the step overs, feigned passes – he brings them all out when confident and when he knows he has the better of his opponents.

Stuart Beavon has won the Burton Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons but has found himself benched for the first two Championship games.

He came on against Bristol to grab an assist and had scored against Bury in the League Cup.

 

 

 

THE BETTING BOX: 5 OF THE BEST

 

BET Wednesday WIN Burton WIN DRAW BTTS FF anytime goalscorer
BEST ODDS 5/4 29/10 27/11 Evens 19/10
BOOKIES William Hill BetVictor-logo Marathon Bet logo Bookies Badge Skybet BetVictor-logo

 

 

HUGH’S VERDICT

 

Burton’s demoralising last-minute defeat on Saturday will have been a real knock to their confidence after their exciting opening day.

Wednesday had a problem with travelling to those at the bottom of the league last season. If Carvalhal’s boys are to improve on last season’s sixth place, then comprehensively beating Burton home and away is a must.

No disrespect to Burton however, even after two games it is clear that they will have a go at Wednesday.

Wednesday will be given possession and Clough will look to limit the spaces afforded to Lee, Bannan and Abdi.

Chances may come few and far between, especially in the first half. Patience is a virtue. Fletcher and Hooper will have to be clinical.

VERDICT: I predicted a draw against Villa and a home win at Carrow Road. Let’s hope Wednesday continue with the nice surprises as I go for a frustrating 1-1.

Hugh
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: owlsalive@gmail.com
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg

Images – SWFC, unless stated.


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