Friday, 14 September 2012

PREVIEW: Burton Albion Away (15/09/12)

Oxford hope to get back to winning ways away at Burton, having had a full week to recover from last weekend's disappointing result.This week marks the first time this season that we haven't had to play a midweek match and unfortunately last week was the wrong time to play Exeter with such a tired, depleted side that must have been exhausted after a tough run of games in quick succession.

Burton have had a mediocre start to the season in the league, winning two of their opening five matches and losing the other three. They have, however, had some success in the League Cup, claiming the scalps of Sheffield United and Leicester City already and taking Coventry City to penalties in the JPT. Their cup exploits may have revitalised their league campaign as well, with the Brewers coming off the back of their first away victory of the season after beating Rochdale 1-0 at Spotland last weekend.

Burton might just be one of the few sides at our level to boast top class training facilities. With the FA preparing to open their new state-of-the-art St George's Park – due to be the home of the England team – in Burton, Albion have been able to use the facilities throughout the construction process.

They may face something of a selection dilemma up front, with the return of Billy Kee from international duty with Northern Ireland U21s. While Kee was away, his replacement Matt Paterson fired Burton to victory at Rochdale. As for ourselves, we're gradually returning to full strength as the injured players begin to return to full fitness and others fortunately avoiding fresh injuries. But two players who have featured in recent matches certainly won't be playing: Sean McGinty has returned to Manchester United after his loan was terminated, and James Constable is banned after his sending off against Exeter. New signing Luke O'Brien will be available to play.

By now, Burton will be familiar opponents – we've now played them 11 times since 2006. The most recent of those was back in April, when an individual effort from Alfie Potter was enough to secure a point at the Pirelli. Our record against Burton is good and we've only ever lost once at the Pirelli Stadium – in a 2010 FA Cup tie. Burton were our first league opponents upon our return to the Football League, with the two sides playing out a 0-0 stalemate on the opening day of the 2010-11 season, and we were also the last team to visit the Pirelli in the Conference in 2008-09 (the crowd of 6,192 is the current record attendance at the ground).

From the Vaults

Burton Albion v Oxford United, 17th April 2009

United arrived at table-topping Burton on a late play-off charge, while Burton needed just a point to secure promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history. Oxford, meanwhile, needed a win to keep the play-off dream alive...

You can find this and many other old Oxford matches on our Video Vault page.

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