Brighton and Hove Albion vs Burton Albion Preview: Brewers looking to cause an upset

Brighton and Hove Albion vs Burton Albion Preview: Brewers looking to cause an upset

Burton Albion travel to the AMEX Stadium in high spirits following a win last time out, but can they claim a result against one of the division's high-flying sides?

Matty Roper

Two teams at opposite ends of the SkyBet Championship table will meet on Saturday as Burton Albion make the trip southbound to Brighton & Hove AlbionNigel Clough will be hoping his side can follow up from the victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers to make it two wins in succession, but the Seagulls have their sights set on top spot. 

Following last season's play-off heartbreak, Chris Hughton is looking to go one more and secure Brighton a place in the top flight. They lie just one point behind league leaders Newcastle United going into this fixture. The Brewers, meanwhile, hover just above the relegation places.

Recent Form

Brighton's form of late has been mixed to say the least and that could inspire Burton to take advantage. Hughton is now three matches without a win in all competitions - the last contest away to Brentford ending in a 3-3 draw. A league defeat to Huddersfield and an FA Cup failure against Lincoln City make up the trio of disappointing results.

However, two consecutive triumphs on home soil will give Brighton supporters hope. A 1-0 win over Cardiff City and an important 2-1 victory versus fellow promotion chasers Sheffield Wednesday back in January could prove key. They will certainly want to shake the below par run of the past few weeks. 

As for the Brewers, they have picked up six points from a possible 15 over the last five fixtures. Slipping to a home defeat against fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic and then losing narrowly away to Cardiff City didn't aid the survival bid, but Clough's men have won two of their last three games.

A 2-1 win on the road versus Queens Park Rangers ended January a high before February started in less spectacular fashion, Albion being downed by Fulham at the Pirelli Stadium. However, the success versus Wolves last weekend ensures spirits are high within the camp.

Team news

Brighton will welcome Dale Stephens and Sam Baldock back into the fold this weekend after both have been sidelined in the recent weeks due to a calf problem. 

One player who could be selected in the starting lineup is Tomer Hemed. The physically imposing forward made a great impact off the bench versus Brentford as he headed home a late equaliser to salvage a point for his team.

Defenders Gaeten Boateng and Liam Rosenior will be unavailable, however, as they are suffering from knee and foot injuries respectively. 

Nigel Clough is likely to be without Damien McCrory after the full-back limped off with a hamstring strain last time out. John Brayford (knee), Kyle McFadzean (toe), Lloyd Dyer (calf) and Luke Varney (punctured lung) are also sidelined, meaning the squad will be stretched once more.

Due to the loan agreement in place, Chris O'Grady is ineligible to play as he cannot feature against Brighton due to them being his parent club. Marvin Sordell is expected to keep his place at the front of Albion's attack.  

Past meetings

The two teams have faced each other on three occasions but it is Brighton who have a 100% record. Back in September, a late Tomer Hemed penalty broke Burton hearts at the Pirelli Stadium and the Seagulls flew away with three points. The Brewers will be desperate to break the mould on Saturday.