Ex-Blades boss Nigel Clough ambitious to set back Wilder’s dream start

By Louis Hobbs

Burton boss Nigel Clough is set for a tough test as he faces his former side Sheffield United following his sacking from the club in May 2015.

The Brewers will be eager to capitalise on their 1-0 away victory at Millwall before the international break. However, with the in-form United comfortably sitting second in the Sky Bet Championship table, the Blades will be clear favourites.

Burton, who are at home in this fixture, arestruggling to find success at their home ground. Their last four matches at the Pirelli stadium have ended in defeat, alongside conceding 14 goals.

Alternatively, Sheffield United secured 12 points from a maximum 15 in October, including an impressive 2-1 away victory over Yorkshire rivals Leeds United. Chris Wilder’s side also began November with an emphatic 4-1 home win over Hull City, with the club’s number nine Leon Clarke netting all four on the day.

Moreover, Chris Wilder’s utility man Chris Basham may have to fill in at right-wing back for the fixture, with Kieron Freeman still injured, and George Baldock edging back to full fitness.

Goalkeeper Jamal Blackman is also still being treated by parent club Chelsea, which should hand Simon Moore his second league start of the campaign.

For Albion, Club Captain John Brayford won’t be fit to start against his former occupiers who sold him to the Pirelli Stadium over the summer, with forward Joe Mason also out.

Additionally, Clough will be poised to make changes to his midfield three in order to counter Wilder’s midfield maestro and former Brewer Mark Duffy who has stormed the Championship last month.

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When asked about his midfield dilemma going into the fixture, Clough added: “We’ve got some good options in there at the moment. I’d say Luke Murphy is the only one, not guaranteed a place, but as close as you can be.”

Before Kick-off stats:

  • Burton have conceded 14 goals in their previous four home fixtures, despite having kept the joint most clean sheets away from home in the Championship. (3)
  • However, in the two clubs total five encounters, Burton have come out on top the most with three victories.
  • Albion’s Marvin Sordell has scored against the Blades on three different occasions for three different clubs; Watford, Coventry and Colchester.
  • In November, United’s Duffy created four goals, which included three man of the match performances, and will be a key man for Wilder’s side as he faces his former club.

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