|Full of Optimism and Hope, the League One Kick Off is Finally Here!|
Written by christiand on Friday, 2nd Aug 2019 14:27
Ipswich Town will make the journey to Staffordshire for their first third tier game since Alf Ramsey’s side won promotion back in 1957, where they will play against Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion.
After finishing the last campaign in decent form with six wins from their last 11 games, ultimately saw them finish ninth, Brewers are optimistic for their side's prospects this term.
Although Clough’s squad is relatively small in comparison to their opponents it has a good mix of EFL experience and youthful exuberance. With the addition of some shrewd signings in Oliver Sarkic, Chelsea loanee Richard Nartey and Jevan Anderson and the trio of first-year professionals just out of the Albion academy - Ethan Vale, Nathan Morley and Ben Hart - many are predicting that Burton could making a sustained challenge for the League One play-offs.
The Gaffer: Nigel Clough
Since returning for his second spell in charge at the Pirelli Stadium in December 2015, after stints as manager at Derby County and Sheffield United, Clough has overseen a promotion to the Championship, where the Brewers remained for two seasons, on a very modest playing budget.
They reached last season’s League Cup semi-final against Manchester City where they were destroyed by the Premier League champions 10-0 on aggregate, after losing the first leg 9-0 at the Etihad.
Nevertheless, Clough is regarded as a bright manager, who will encourage his sides to play a passing brand of football, which is easy on the eye.
It is generally accepted, that he is doing a good job at the club and is getting the best out of the resources he has at his disposal.
Clough’s Managerial Record
After coming back from a serious knee injury sustained against Shrewsbury Town in a pre-season friendly, which ultimately curtailed his debut season in 2017/18, Liam Boyce hit his straps last year in League One scoring an impressive 14 goals, making him joint-top scorer with Lucas Akins.
The Northern Ireland international has formed a formidable and productive strike force with Akins and it will be important that the visitors defend well against the pair, who have continued to look lively during this pre-season.
In addition, the Brewers have signed Oliver Sarkic on a short-term contract after the striker left Leeds United. The 22-year-old Montenegro youth international impressed during a trial in a recent 5-2 win over Chesterfield and despite having offers from abroad, he has decided that his immediate future is at the Pirelli Stadium.
Sarkic, who has scored three goals in seven games for Montenegro U21s, began his youth career in Belgium with Anderlecht before joining Portuguese side Benfica in 2014. Certainly one to keep an eye on, although he is likely to start on the bench due to his lack of match fitness.
Burton Albion’s Predicted Line Up and Formation (4-3-3 or possibly reverting to a 4-4-2)
O’Hara, Brayford, Nartey, Buxton, Daniel, O’Toole, Quinn, Fraser, Edwards, Akins and Boyce.
Head to Head Record vs. Burton Albion
Most recent match
Burton Fans' View on ITFC and the Game
The home fans are feeling buoyed by Ipswich’s current injury crisis which has given them great encouragement for Saturday’s fixture.
In addition, the fact that the away allocation has been sold out they are hopeful of an attendance in excess of 4,000 and a cracking atmosphere at the compact Pirelli Stadium to start the new campaign.
Generally, the home support are positive that they can get the 2019/20 league season off to a better start than last season, but many are wary about our new signing James Norwood and see him as a very good signing and a real threat at this level.
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