Cardiff City vs Burton Albion Preview: Brewers searching for first win of 2017

Cardiff City vs Burton Albion Preview: Brewers searching for first win of 2017

Following the 2-0 home defeat to Wigan Athletic, it is imperative that Nigel Clough's men put an end to the poor run of form as quickly as possible.

Matty Roper

Despite Burton Albion ending 2016 on a high with their first ever away win in the second tier, a 2-1 triumph over Rotherham United, they are yet to take a league point in 2017. The Brewers have an opportunity change their fortunes as they travel to Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon. 

Neil Warnock's Bluebirds lie in 18th place going into the fixture whilst the visitors sit perilously above the drop zone, one point and one place above Blackburn Rovers.

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Cardiff will approach this fixture in a positive mood after edging Bristol City last time out. Two goals from Anthony Pilkington either side of a Kadeem Harris strike secured a 3-2 triumph at Ashton Gate.

In their last five SkyBet Championship matches, the Bluebirds have picked up ten points from a possible 15 and Warnock will be determined to continue that form with what would be a third consecutive league victory.

As for Albion, their recent return is a worry for supporters as they look to battle relegation. The loss versus Wigan Athletic at the Pirelli Stadium last weekend was certainly not ideal and it is now three games without a win in all competitions for Clough's men.

However, having prevailed in their last away trip versus Rotherham, the Brewers will take heart from that. With only three points earned from the last five league games, the travelling fans will be praying that their side can register a positive result to clamber further away from danger.

Team news

Neil Warnock will be boosted by the return of Jazz Richards after the right-back missed the trip to Ashton Gate due to the death of his grandfather. Veteran midfielder Peter Whillingham is likely to start after regaining match fitness following muscle issues over the last few weeks. 

One absentee will be Bruno Ecuele-Manga as the central defender is representing Gabon at the Africa Cup of Nations. Other than that, the Bluebirds are at full strength.

Burton have been dealt a blow in terms of their attacking options as Northern Irish forward, Jamie Ward has returned to parent club, Nottingham Forest.

The Brewers will remain without Luke Varney as he recovers from a punctured lung sustained during the FA Cup defeat to Watford. Top scorer Jackson Irvine also remains a doubt as he is nursing a groin strain.

Goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin was substituted at half-time due to injury versus Wigan, but the manager told the media afterwards, "He got a whack and landed heavily and was dazed so no risk and he was straight off. There was no concussion so hopefully he will be OK."

Past meetings

In the game between the two sides at the Pirelli Stadium earlier this season, it was the Brewers who came out on top as Jackson Irvine and Lucas Akins found the net in a 2-0 win. That was the first ever league meeting between the teams, but the Bluebirds did claim a 4-1 victory in the League Cup back in 2010.