Burton Albion vs Nottingham Forest Preview: Brewers look to put pressure on Reds

Nottingham Forest face a huge clash at the bottom of the Championship on Saturday afternoon as they face Burton Albion at The Pirelli Stadium

Forest have remained inconsistent under Gary Brazil and followed an impressive 3-0 home victory against Brighton & Hove Albion up with a 3-2 home defeat to Brentford. This has left the Reds with a considerable amount of work still to do to ensure their safety.

Burton are bravely battling relegation with their limited resources under manager Nigel Clough. They are scrapping for every point and will have to continue to do so if they are to stay up this campaign.

How they've fared so far

Forest fans remain very concerned about what the future may hold under owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi. Their inconsistency on the pitch is not helping the mood around The City Ground as relegation remains a possibility. 

The form on the pitch has only marginally improved since the sacking of Philippe Montanier. Al-Hasawi decided to take the safe option by appointing youth academy coach Gary Brazil until the end of the season after being turned down by a huge amount of other managers. 

So far, Brazil's record in charge is not particularly great. He has been in charge for 10 games and has recorded four wins, one draw and five defeats with the latest coming on Tuesday night against Brentford. 

However, there have been some positives for Forest in recent weeks. For example, the emergence of 17-year-old striker Ben Brereton has been one. He scored again on Tuesday night and continues to impress as Premier League scouts watch on. The signing of Zach Clough from Bolton Wanderers also seems to be an inspired one as he continues to impress and is now surely one of the first names on the team sheet. 

As for Burton, they have struggled in the Championship so far, but this was expected by everyone connected with the club. They managed to get themselves promotion on the final day of League 1 last year and survival in the Championship would be an incredible achievement for a club of their stature. 

Nigel Clough came so close to taking the Forest job just a matter of months ago. However, he took the decision to stay at Burton as he felt it would be unfair to leave with the position they were in and the season being unfinished. It would not be a surprise to see him eventually return to The City Ground where he continues to have a legendary status. 

Burton claimed another impressive result on Tuesday night as they battled for a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Their fearless approach towards the game was very impressive and Jackson Irvine's superb volley was enough to secure a share of the spoils after Ross Wallace had put Wednesday in front just minutes earlier. 

The Brewers find themselves sat 19th in the Championship as it stands. They are currently three points clear of the relegation zone and just two points off Forest with the ability to move above them on Saturday. If Burton were able to secure the victory, it would massively boost their chances of survival and put significant pressure back onto Forest. 

Lloyd Dyer celebrates scoring against Forest earlier on in the season. (picture: Getty Images / Tony Marshall)
Lloyd Dyer celebrates scoring against Forest earlier on in the season. (picture: Getty Images / Tony Marshall)

Last time they met

Forest last played Burton Albion in a thrilling encounter on the opening day of the season back in August. Britt Assombalonga got two goals for Forest that day in a 4-3 victory and Thomas Lam and Oliver Burke also found the net. However, Burton troubled the Forest defence with Lucas Akins, Lloyd Dyer and Tom Naylor all finding the net. 

Team news

There is finally some good news on the injury front for Forest with some key players returning. Michael Mancienne could be fit enough to feature after recovering from his recent hamstring injury. However, he may not walk straight back in as the partnership of Joe Worrall and Danny Fox has developed well of late. 

With a huge squad of over 30 players at his disposal, Brazil opted to rest Chris Cohen and Armand Traore on Tuesday night as they have both recently returned from injury themselves. However, he may decide to draft them back in for this crucial clash. 

As for Burton, they suffered no fresh injuries against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday and may have come players returning for this game. Michael Kightly who they signed on loan from Burnley could be back after missing the last few games with a hamstring injury. Clough's attacking options could be boosted even further if Lucas Akins can also recover from his injury in time to feature.