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Burton Albion vs Sunderland: Predictions
The Brewers had no midweek game, but last time out, claimed a priceless win over fellow strugglers Northampton Town to cut the gap to safety to just three points; additionally, they have two matches in hand on the three sides immediately above them, giving them opportunities to catch up to or overhaul them. Meanwhile, the Black Cats can look forward to a second trip to Wembley in three years of participating in the EFL Trophy, overcoming League One league leaders by virtue of a penalty shootout. Charlie Wyke is now the division’s top scorer, and is in no mood to quit whilst he’s ahead.
The build-up to the weekend’s game has been overshadowed somewhat by the news that billionaire Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ takeover of the fallen giants received EFL approval on Thursday. The 24 year-old has also become the club’s chairman with immediate effect. Long-suffering Lads fans have been here before, and will be desperate for some stability, and moreover, hope, under the new regime.
On the pitch under the auspices of Lee Johnson, things have taken an uptick, especially in the last two. Doncaster Rovers, comfortably in the play-offs, were swatted aside 4-1 at the Stadium of Light last weekend, a result made all the more remarkable for striker Charlie Wyke grabbing all four and Aiden McGeady assisting all of them. Then, in midweek, they once again reached the EFL Trophy final, ensuring yet another date at Wembley where they will be certain favourites to defeat Tranmere Rovers.
However, even under Johnson, they have struggled for consistency, and an impressive win is rarely followed up by any kind of streak to stake their claim to be in amongst the top six. That has been their downfall, as well as rarely being dominant enough to turn the perennial 1-1 draws into victories.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will have the Brewers geed up for the big match, cognisant that in his second stint in charge, the odds are still stacked ever more firmly against him from achieving his brief. Michael Bostwick remains an excellent centre back, and there is a smattering of quality elsewhere. The Dutch boss will pack the midfield to choke off space for the massively dangerous McGeady to work his magic; if he’s allowed to get crosses off to Wyke, they can forget about getting anything from the game.
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Burton Albion vs Sunderland: Match Stats
Though bottom, Burton have actually scored more goals than seven other sides in the third tier (32) at the time of writing.
Sunderland average a 55.3% share of possession in 2020/2021’s League One, second only to Milton Keynes Dons (a whopping 59.5%).
Charlie Wyke’s very fruitful form has seen him rise to the top of the scoring charts, hitting 17 goals in 1,919 minutes of action.
The Black Cats have drawn 1-1 six times in 27 league matches, including a three-game streak in late November to early December.
Aiden McGeady is only one of two players to lay on four assists in a match in the top 92 this season.
Sunderland haven’t won a single one of their last five meetings with Burton, and as is now the norm for them, two of the more recent matches ended 1-1. Only three years ago, both teams were still in the Championship, which has at times felt like a distant dream for the Black Cats.