Burton Albion vs Leicester City Preview: Brewers conclude pre-season with visit of Shakespeare’s Foxes

Burton Albion play host to Premier League Leicester City for their final pre-season match on Tuesday evening ahead of the start of the EFL Championship.

Nigel Clough’s men open their 2017/18 campaign against Cardiff City and the match against the former Premier League champions should provide a stern test for the Staffordshire outfit.

Safety the target for Clough and Shakespeare?

Having narrowly avoided relegation to League One last season, Burton earned plenty of praise for the first-ever season in the second tier of English football. However, no other club is more aware of the huge challenge awaiting the Brewers.

Six players have arrived at the Pirelli Stadium ahead of the new season with a host on free transfers. The likes of Hope Akpan and Matthew Lund have made switches from Blackburn Rovers and Rochdale respectively. Elsewhere, veteran defenders Stephen Warnock and Jake Buxton have both signed from Wigan Athletic.

After scoring 23 goals in the Scottish Premiership for Ross County last season, Liam Boyce has also put pen to paper on a deal with the Brewers for an undisclosed fee. Leeds United midfielder Luke Murphy has re-joined the club on loan following a successful temporary stint last season.

The Foxes meanwhile have only made three first team additions so far this season. Harry Maguire and Eldin Jakupović both arrived from Hull City whilst Sevilla captain Vincente Iborra has signed a four-year deal at the King Power Stadium.

Mixed results for both

Both sides go into the clash at the Pirelli Stadium having endured difficult results last time out. Leicester travelled to Molineux on Saturday afternoon to tussle with Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolverhampton Wanderers. A lacklustre performance saw the Foxes come unstuck with the home side earning a 1-0 victory courtesy of an Ivan Cavaleiro strike.

This came after a 0-0 draw with MK Dons on Friday night which followed a tight 1-0 victory over League Two Luton Town at Kenilworth Road. Following the clash with Burton, the Foxes will conclude their pre-season preparations with a game against Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday night.

Burton fell to their own 1-0 defeat in their previous pre-season game, this time against Shrewsbury Town. The loss comes after a mixed pre-season schedule for the Brewers. Clough’s men have managed to rack-up comprehensive wins over the likes over Kidsgrove Athletic, Mickleover Sports and Arnold Town.

Losses to West Bromwich Albion, AFC Wimbledon and Rocester have proved sticking points for the team ahead of the new season though.

Regular friendly foes

The two teams surprisingly have only met four times competitively and never at the Pirelli Stadium. It has in fact been over four years since the last clash – a 2-0 victory for the Foxes in the FA Cup 3rd Round at the King Power Stadium.

As a matter of fact, the East Midlanders have tasted victory on three of the four occasions. The only win for the Brewers came in August 2012. The then League Two outfit shockingly knocked out Championship Leicester in the second round of the League Cup with a 4-2 success.

There have though been various friendly meetings between the two sides in recent times. Before their miraculous Premier League title win, the Foxes faced Burton in 2015 and eventually ran out 2-0 winners thanks to a brace from Jamie Vardy.

Three years previously, goals from Jeffrey Schlupp, Lloyd Dyer and Neil Danns earned Leicester a 3-1 win in another pre-season clash.

Team News

The home side will be without one of their main strikers for the visit of Leicester. Marvin Sordell was given his marching orders in the game against Shrewsbury so will not be available for selection. Record signing Liam Boyce could be absent after suffering a knock against Shrewsbury. Influential midfielder Jackson Irvine should start the game if his recovery from injury has gone to plan.

Matty Lund, who has netted three times in pre-season will be looking to add to his tally on Tuesday evening.

Former Leicester winger Lloyd Dyer could appear against his former side for the first time if selected by Clough. The 34-year-old made 261 appearances for the Foxes and scored 38 goals.

Lloyd Dyer could appear against his former side on Tuesday evening | Photo: Getty/ Kevin Barnes - CameraSport
Lloyd Dyer could appear against his former side on Tuesday evening | Photo: Getty/ Kevin Barnes - CameraSport

Elsewhere, Craig Shakespeare has his own injury concern to worry about. Islam Slimani suffered a nasty gash on his leg against Wolves so will hope to be fit for the game. Fellow Algerian Riyad Mahrez will more than likely start the game. The 26-year-old has found some eye-catching form in pre-season despite wanting to leave the club. He has found the net against West Bromwich Albion and Luton.

The Foxes though have struggled creatively throughout their preparations. Having only scored three goals in five matches, they will hope to improve on this against the Brewers. Shakespeare may well be keen to get some of his first team regulars yet more game time, so expect the like of Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel, Marc Albrighton and Wilfred N’Didi all to take to the field.