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What Was Said: Mourinho content with his players commitment in 4-1 Burton victory

Manchester United beat Burton Albion 4-1 in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford. It was a good match for United with Jose Mourinho’s side taking advantage of the Championship club with Marcus Rashford scoring in the fifth minute of the match, assisted by Jesse Lingard. Burton tried to get the better of United, failing to do so with some attempts they may rue at the end of the evening.

Rashford doubled United’s lead in the 17th minute of the match, assisted by Daley Blind, putting the fixture out of sight from Burton. In the 36th minute, United scored again, claimed by Lingard but will probably be an own goal. United were three to the good at the end of the first half. Luke Shaw replaced Juan Mata at the start of the second half, playing a wing-back role with United playing three at the back.

It took less than 15 minutes for United to break again, this time with Anthony Martial scoring a well-deserved goal, which could have been many more for him in this match alone. United were 4-0 up again and into the last 16 of the Carabao Cup. Burton, in the added minute at the end of the half, scored through Lloyd Dyer with a rebound after Burton hit the crossbar, Joel Pereira conceding United only Old Trafford goal this season.

Mourinho spoke about Anthony Martial, who was named the Sky Sports Man of the Match for his performance against Burton. The manager said:

“Anthony Martial wanted to do things – some he did amazingly well, others not so well, but he was always trying and that commitment and happiness on the pitch is always important.”

Mourinho also spoke about the League Cup and how it is important to respect the competition, saying:

“If the competition is an official competition then it is important for Manchester United and for me as a manager. If you ask me could the English football survive or even be better without this competition? Maybe, maybe we would be fresher for European competition for example. But we have this competition, we have to respect the sponsors, we have to respect the opponents and a lot of us are trying to do our best.”

The manager then spoke about the players doing a professional job, getting the job done in the 4-1 victory, saying:

“We did our job. Not a phenomenal performance but a solid performance. Since the beginning, we played in a serious way. The players, many of them, needed 90 minutes to play because many of them were not playing a lot during the season. I think we did our job professionally.”

Mourinho, concluding, spoke about the commitment his players showed during the match, saying:

“What pleased me the most was the commitment. They took it in a serious way. While the result was open, until we were 2-0 or 3-0 up, they forced the game, they wanted to kill the game. They wanted to be in the next draw. That professionalism and commitment is a very important thing.”

Ratings: Martial the stand out player, Rashford made his mark in 4-1 victory

Manchester United beat Burton Albion 4-1 in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. It took just five minutes for Marcus Rashford to break the deadlock, assisted by Jesse Lingard. United dominated the Championship side, scoring their second goal in the 17th minute of the match, assisted by Daley Blind. Juan Mata hit the post, which was unlucky with Lingard getting a goal of his own in the 36th minute, which could be credited as a Burton own goal. United were 3-0 up and raring to go in the second half. Anthony Martial, a player who was unlucky himself, scored United fourth goal, assisted by Rashford who was soon replaced by Scott McTominay, unable to complete his hat-trick.

Luke Shaw made his return from injury having played three times for United U23’s, being pulled from Monday nights match to keep him fresh for this evening’s match. Shaw found the back of the net, it being disallowed for offside, which was unfortunate. United played three at the back in the second half, utilising both Matteo Darmian and Shaw as wing-backs, which worked for United. At 4-0 and with an added minute to play, United conceded the only goal they have conceded at Old Trafford this season through Lloyd Dyer with Joel Pereira, who replaced Sergio Romero in the 78th minute, conceding the goal, which was unfortunate.

Goals: Marcus Rashford 5′, 17′, Jesse Lingard 36′, Anthony Martial 60′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 5′, Daley Blind 17′, Anthony Martial 36′, Marcus Rashford 60′

Manchester United: Romero (J. Pereira 78′); Darmian, Lindelof, Smalling, Blind; Herrera, Carrick; Lingard, Mata (Shaw 46′), Martial; Rashford (McTominay 64′)

Substitutes Not Used: Jones; Young, Fellaini; Lukaku

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian number one played well, performed a few saves, one of which could have given Burton a chance to score, United thwarting the effort. Kept a clean sheet, although largely untested. Replaced by Pereira in the 78th minute.

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Matteo Darmian

Darmian played much better at right-back, did what he needed to do during the match. Played a right-wing role in the second half as United continued to pressure.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Got some more game time but still needs some more to get used to the English game. Played well but rarely tested, even with three at the back in the second half.

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Chris Smalling

The England defender had little to do. Made a few clearances, was fouled but was deemed to have been the fouling player at a stage, which was strange. Did what he needed to do.

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17 Daley Blind

The Dutchman was given the freedom to break forward, got an assist for Rashford's second goal. Played as a central defender in the second half with three at the back.

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21 Ander Herrera

The Sopanish midfielder was back to his best against Burton, breaking up play and showing the important midfielder he is. Can he do it against the more high profile teams, which needs to be the case?

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16 Michael Carrick

The captain played a role in the opening goal with Rashford hitting the back of the net inside five minutes. Controlled the tempo and dictated the player. Thought he may have been rusty, but did well.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Played well, playing the ball into Rashford for the first goal and getting a deflected goal of his own, which may not be credited to him. He will have earned a pat on the back by Mourinho.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish midfielder played in the number ten role, playing well and creating play. Unlucky not to have scored in the first half, hitting the post. Was replaced by Luke Shaw at he start of the second half.

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9 Anthony Martial

Man of the Match for me. He was on every attack, played like a demon escaping from the gates of hell. Mourinho will have noticed that and he should be starting against Southampton.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Two goals and an assist, not quite the hat-trick he would have wanted but he has shown tonight what he is capable of. Mourinho will have oved that just like we did. To think there were some so-called United fans who said the lad was nothing special.

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Substitutes

23 Luke Shaw

Replaced Mata. Nearlt got a goal a minute or too into the half, but was flagged for offside. Not quite up to speed in terms of fitness but showed good signs.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Rashford. Played well with United changing formation and still pushing for goals. Was hacked down cynically at onestage which was uncalled for. With a little patience and he will break into the first team.

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Joel Castro Pereira

Replaced Romero. Conceded Burton's only goal and failed to keep a clean sheet.

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Report: Plucky Manchester United hit Burton for four, conceding in the final seconds

Manchester United beat Burton Albion 4-1 in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening, earning a fourth-round clash in the league cup this season. It was Marcus Rashford who struck a fifth-minute goal, assisted by Jesse Lingard, starting one of those matches for Burton. In the 17th minute, Rashford scored again, doubling United’s lead with Daley Blind assisting. United were not done there with Lingard getting one of his own, or it could be an own goal to put United 3-0 up with Anthony Martial hitting United’s fourth, the fourth time United have won by that scoreline this season.

Jose Mourinho made nine changes from the side which beat Everton 4-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday with Sergio Romero, Matteo Darmian, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial all starting. Only Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford started both matches. United started well, getting to business quickly. Burton got a shot with Romero saved, not threatening him. Marcus Rashford took first blood in the fifth minute with Jesse Lingard assisting him. It was a great start for United with Lingard almost getting a chance seconds later, being dispossessed in the box.

Burton started to have a good spell in possession in periods after the goal with United seemingly welcoming then into their half. United then started something with Rashford scoring their second goal of the match with a stunning strike outside of the box with Daley Blind setting up the striker this time. United were taking Burton for a Burton. In the 24th minute of the match, after some good build-up play, United were on the attack again with Juan Mata getting the ball in the box and forcing a save from the Burton goalkeeper.

United had all the action in the Burton half for some time with Anthony Martial this time getting a chance with the Burton keeper making another save. At the other end of the pitch, Burton broke through, Romero had committed himself to make the save and Burton fluffed their lines, winning a corner when perhaps they should have had a goal which would put them back into the match. The corner came to nothing for the visitors. In the 28th minute of the match, United were once again in the Burton area with Mata shooting, hitting the post and United keeping the ball in play, having another attempt, not getting the third goal of the match with an acrobatic attempt from Martial.

With ten minutes of the half remaining, with United still in the driving seat, Jesse Lingard, after being played in by Martial, scored the third goal of the match, which took a deflection into the back of the net. United were 3-0 up and surely into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. Luke Shaw was warming up around the 38th minute of the match, possibly coming on to play the second half and get some fitness ahead of the rest of the months matches, which could see him feature as he looks to gain the confidence of Jose Mourinho.

In the final five minutes of the half, the tempo has slowed with United’s dominance continuing, although across the entire pitch, not just in Burton’s final third. Chris Smalling gave a free-kick away after the referee adjudged that he made a foul, despite the Burton player being high in the air with his boots near enough on Smalling’s shoulder. Strange decision but the England defender headed the free-kick out of the box with Ander Herrera making the clearance out of United’s half. There were three minutes of added time at the end of the half with United still 3-0 to the good. Another long 45 minutes for Burton coming up.

At the start of the second half, Mourinho made a change with Luke Shaw replacing Juan Mata with United playing three at the back. Minutes after Shaw coming on, he was through on goal, finding the back of the net but flagged for offside. In the 57th minute of the match, Burton had a free-kick, wasting it with the ball going out of play. United were still controlling the tempo of the game, also controlling the match with a 3-0 scoreline not satisfactory, seeking more goals against the Championship side. A minute later, Martial was on the attack from the flank, beating his man and getting a shot on goal, which the keeper saved.

Just on the hour mark, Martial scored United fourth goal with Rashford receiving the ball because of a Burton defensive error, setting the Frenchman up for his fourth goal of the season. United were 4-0 up and cruising into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup this season. In the 64th minute of the match, Rashford was replaced by Scott McTominay so would not score his hat-trick this evening. By the 68th minute of the match, United had made 12 attempts to score, having ten on target with Burton having five attempts, just two on target.

In the 71st minute, Steven Warnock took McTominay out, who was through on goal, being booked for the offence. Mourinho made his third substitution in the 78th minute with Joel Pereira replacing Romero. After the change, United nearly had a fifth with Martial on the attack, getting a shot on goal, albeit from an angle, missing the target. In the 86th minute, Burton had another chance, shooting well over the crossbar with Pereira not even needing to make a save. Lingard won a free-kick for United just outside the box in the 87th minute, just as Anthony Martial was named Man of the Match by Sky Sports. Martial took the free-kick, just clipping the outside of the post.

There was one minute of added time at the end of the half with Burton on the attack, hitting the crossbar then with Lloyd Dyer beating Pereira and scoring a goal, something with many have not done at Old Trafford for some time. Still, United were into the last 16 of the Carabao Cup, the fourth round draw coming up after tonight’s match.

Goals: Marcus Rashford 5′, 17′, Jesse Lingard 36′, Anthony Martial 60′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 5′, Daley Blind 17′, Anthony Martial 36′, Marcus Rashford 60′

Manchester United: Romero (J. Pereira 78′); Darmian, Lindelof, Smalling, Blind; Herrera, Carrick; Lingard, Mata (Shaw 46′), Martial; Rashford (McTominay 64′)

Substitutes Not Used: Jones; Young, Fellaini; Lukaku

Starting XI: Rashford leads the line, Carrick returns for Manchester United

Manchester United will be pitted against Championship side Burton Albion in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford. It will be the third consecutive match at the Theatre of Dreams with United scoring seven goals without reply in the previous two matches. This season at Old Trafford, United have a 100% record, winning every match, not conceding a solitary goal, which is a good sign with Jose Mourinho and his players looking to return the stadium to the fortress that was under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson. United sit in second place in the Premier League this season, level on points and goal difference with Manchester City, who top the league, based on alphabetical order. Nigel Clough’s Brewers sit 19th in the Championship, four points ahead of the drop zone – losing two, winning two and drawing two of their last six matches.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Darmian, Lindelof, Smalling, Blind;

Herrera, Carrick;

Lingard, Mata, Martial;

Rashford

Substitutes:

J. Pereira; Jones, Shaw; Young, Fellaini, McTominay; Lukaku

Manchester United and Burton Albion have played two matches in the history of the clubs back in January 2006. United draw Burton in the FA Cup third round, playing at the Pirelli Stadium. Sir Alex Ferguson rested some big names for that match with 18-year-olds Giuseppe Rossi and Gerard Pique, 19-year-old Ritchie Jones, 20-year-old Phil Bardsley and 21-year-old Kieran Richardson all starting the match. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Louis Saha, John O’Shea, Mikael Silvestre, Wes Brown and Tim Howard were the experienced members of the team in that match with Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo both coming off the bench with a 0-0 draw the result. The Brewers earned an FA Cup third round replay at Old Trafford which was played ten days later. The result there was much different with United scoring five goals without reply with Saha, a brace from Rossi, Richardson getting on the score sheet and Ryan Giggs with the other.

Preview: Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United prepared ahead of Carabao Cup opener

Manchester United -v- Burton Albion

Carabao Cup 2017/18

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 20th September 2017; KO 20:00 BST

Live on Sky Sports Football HD

Manchester United will be pitted against Championship side Burton Albion in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford. It will be the third consecutive match at the Theatre of Dreams with United scoring seven goals without reply in the previous two matches. This season at Old Trafford, United have a 100% record, winning every match, not conceding a solitary goal, which is a good sign with Jose Mourinho and his players looking to return the stadium to the fortress that was under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson. United sit in second place in the Premier League this season, level on points and goal difference with Manchester City, who top the league, based on alphabetical order. Nigel Clough’s Brewers sit 19th in the Championship, four points ahead of the drop zone – losing two, winning two and drawing two of their last six matches.

United will be looking to head into the fourth round of the league cup this season, defending the trophy they beat Southampton for at Wembley in February with Zlatan Ibrahimovic doing the business to ensure United had won their first major trophy under Mourinho, adding to that at the end of the season with the UEFA Europa League being lifted at the Friends Arena in Stockholm in May. United are far from the finished team Mourinho intends to build but the season so far has shown what the side is capable of and that should give Burton a bad feeling ahead of Wednesday’s match. United have faced Burton twice before, in the FA Cup, so there is some history between the two sides with Burton savouring the visit to the Theatre of Dreams eleven years from their last visit.

Previous Matches: A 0-0 draw and a third round replay in the FA Cup at Old Trafford show the history between United and Burton Albion

Manchester United and Burton Albion have played two matches in the history of the clubs back in January 2006. United draw Burton in the FA Cup third round, playing at the Pirelli Stadium. Sir Alex Ferguson rested some big names for that match with 18-year-olds Giuseppe Rossi and Gerard Pique, 19-year-old Ritchie Jones, 20-year-old Phil Bardsley and 21-year-old Kieran Richardson all starting the match. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Louis Saha, John O’Shea, Mikael Silvestre, Wes Brown and Tim Howard were the experienced members of the team in that match with Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo both coming off the bench with a 0-0 draw the result. The Brewers earned an FA Cup third round replay at Old Trafford which was played ten days later. The result there was much different with United scoring five goals without reply with Saha, a brace from Rossi, Richardson getting on the score sheet and Ryan Giggs with the other.

Form: United have had a great start to the season, scoring goals aplenty

Manchester United started the Premier League season strongly with three victories in the first three matches; West Ham United 4-0, Swansea City 4-0, and Leicester City 2-0 scoring ten goals in the opening matches without reply. After the international break, United travelled to the bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City, dropping their first points of the season in the 2-2 draw but still sitting at the top of the Premier League tables based on goal difference. This weekend, after a positive result in the opening UEFA Champions League clash with FC Basel, a 3-0 victory, United continued their run against Everton, beating them 4-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday, keeping their dominance going this season.

Burton Albion have played eight matches in the Championship this season, losing the first three against Cardiff City (1-0), Hull City (4-1), Middlesbrough (2-0), winning the fourth match, a 2-1 victory over Birmingham City. A 1-1 draw followed against Sheffield Wednesday then a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Leeds United. A 0-0 draw with Norwich City came before their second Championship victory, a 2-1 scoreline against Fulham. In the Carabao Cup, Burton have been involved since the first round; beating Oldham Athletic 3-2, then Cardiff City 2-1, setting up the tie with United at the Theatre of Dreams, their biggest match of the season so far, possibly the biggest they will play all season.

Team News: Luke Shaw could be back in the Manchester United first team against Burton Albion

Jose Mourinho could have Luke Shaw back in his side after he was left out of the U23 squad which drew 2-2 with Chelsea on Monday evening. It would be the perfect match to give Shaw the time to find full fitness, with the CSKA Moscow match next week being another, leaving him out of a return to former club Southampton this weekend but Jose Mourinho may have other ideas. United have only Paul Pogba, who is out for an unspecified period of time, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the sidelines, which after their lengthy injury lists of the past few seasons, is a good sign of things to come. United have done well without some crucial players this season, which will strengthen the side when they are all fit and raring to go. Mourinho could include the likes of Scott McTominay in his squad on Wednesday evening, which would allow Marouane Fellaini and co to have a break with Michael Carrick maybe playing his first match of the season.

Predicted Starting XI: McTominay and Shaw to get a look in as Mourinho rotates against Burton Albion?

Match Prediction: Manchester United to take control of Carabao Cup third round tie with Burton on Wednesday

Manchester United 5-0 Burton Albion

Starting XI Prediction: Mourinho to select a strong side to face Burton with Rashford leading the line?

Manchester United take on Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening in the defence of the EFL Cup in which they beat Southampton to lift at Wembley in February. United have had a great start to the season, winning five out of six matches, drawing the other, scoring 19 goals in all competitions, 16 of those being in the Premier League alone, almost 30% of the final goal tally in the league last season. Romelu Lukaku has scored seven goals in seven matches, counting the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid, which United lost but Lukaku scored his first competitive goal for his new club. United are in great form and depending on the squad to face the Championship side, that could well continue with more goals being scored at the Theatre of Dreams, of which United are unbeaten at this season and long may that continue.

Jose Mourinho’s side started the season with many injured players; just Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic left to recover, both will be unlikely to play for the club until the New Year, but with Ibrahimovic seemingly pushing his fitness to the limits, there is a chance he could be back before the Christmas period, which would be good for United and Mourinho, providing he is actually fit enough and will not be taking a huge risk, which could cost him at United for a second time. Ashley Young returned to action in the last few weeks with Luke Shaw playing a few matches for the U23’s and likely to be involved in the first team soon, possible against Burton which would be a good match to test his fitness.

Starting XI Prediction (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian goalkeeper did so well last season in the UEFA Europa League and aside of pre-season, is yet to play a single match this season. David De Gea is in great form, but a rest ahead of the Premier League clash with Southampton at the weekend will be good for him, as good as giving Romero a run out against the Championship side. Romero was tested in Europa last season, but needs more domestic action, which will give him more confidence, not that he needs it and see him be that perfect understudy. Joel Pereira, United’s third choice goalkeeper is a shout also, but Mourinho will be looking to get this match in the back early doors, which could see Pereira make a cameo later in the match.

Back Four: Axel Tuanzebe, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw

United’s defence have done well this season, playing seven competitive matches; one in the UEFA Super Cup, five in the Premier League and one in the UEFA Champions League. In those matches, United have conceded four goals, two against Real Madrid in the Super Cup and two against Stoke City, the only draw of the new Premier League season. Antonio Valencia was rested during the week last week in the Champions League, returning to action against Everton at Old Trafford in the league, scoring that sublime goal inside four minutes. Axel Tuanzebe could play at right-back against Burton, with Ashley Young playing against both Basel and Everton. Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling could form a central defensive partnership, last playing against Basel nearly a week ago, which will be good for their confidence, especially Lindelof. Luke Shaw could make his return at left-back, a problem area for United, which could see him on his way to proving himself to the manager, but with Daley Blind rested at the weekend, he could start ahead of Shaw, being the fitter of the two. I have gone with Shaw though, as it would be a perfect match for him to make his comeback.

Central Midfield: Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick

Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick have played few or no minutes this season respectively. With Nemanja Matic playing in every match so far this season, giving him a rest ahead another three matches this mouth could be a winner for United. Resting Marouane Fellaini will be a bonus too, as he has stood in for Paul Pogba in the last two matches. Herrera has played few minutes, coming on late against Everton on Sunday, needing fitness to find his form, which is where this match would be perfect for him. United could field a weakened team, with regulars on the bench should they be needed, but this squad should have more than enough for matches like this with the player selected within this prediction.

Forward Three: Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial

This is an area where United do not have that much choice at this moment in time. There are four players who can play here and do well for United, all four have been selected as the attacking players. Juan Mata has offered a lot this season, his free-kick against Everton almost gave United another goal and the experience he has is worth having in the side. He may not be quick, but with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial playing, he would not need to be, just offer the brains needed in any attack with the guile to get things started. Mkhitaryan scored his first goal of the season against Everton, assisting in five goals from the start of the season, meaning he has been involved in six goals this season so far. Martial, the scorer of a late penalty against Everton, scoring three league goals already this season, having just started one match, will be wanting a chance and having him in the side could send Burton packing early on in the match.

Striker: Marcus Rashford

Romelu Lukaku has played in every match so far this season, which is great, but with a long season ahead of him, a rest may be needed. Mourinho will probably select him for the match with Marcus Rashford playing on the wing, but in this match , it could give Rashford a chance to better himself as the main striker, with Lukaku having a rest, getting himself ready for the Southampton match this Saturday. The Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fit and ready to go, it will be Lukaku or the Swede who will lead the line, unless Mourinho changes his formation to incorporate both Lukaku and Ibrahimovic, which would be a deadly duo, with Rashford being the rotation option, when he is not playing as a winger to better his ability to become that out-and-out striker he craves to be.

Opposition Scouting: Burton Albion profiled ahead of Carabao Cup clash with Manchester United

Well, Burton Albion have come a long way as a club since the last time they played Manchester United, eleven years ago. Burton were a part-time club in the Conference back then, when they held Sir Alex Ferguson’s team to a replay on a sludgy sticky Pirelli Stadium pitch. With Fergie even bringing Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo off the bench in a bid to get the tie won. Saul Deeney’s late save kept the score at 0-0, giving the club a money-spinning replay at Old Trafford which sparked scenes of euphoria around the entire town. Everybody was talking about it.

The club averaged crowds of around 1500 at the time but took around 11500 fans to Old Trafford for the match. Of what everyone at the time thought would be a once in a lifetime experience for such a small local club. Burton lost that game 5-0, but the money from that tie really set the club up for the future.

Eleven years later, Burton Albion are now three leagues higher as a Championship club in its second season. And have got another trip to Old Trafford to look forward to in the Carabao Cup. But plenty has happened between then and now. It was three seasons after the one the club faced played Manchester United when they got promoted to the Football League. Nigel Clough left for Derby County halfway through that season when Burton were running away with the league at the time. Roy McFarland took the baton on a caretaker basis. A wretched run of form nearly caused a monumental capitulation.

But in the end, Burton stumbled over the finish line by two points on the final day. They lost 2-1 that day away at Torquay United. But Cambridge United only managed a draw at home to Altrincham. McFarland didn’t carry on with Burton in the clubs first League Two season. So Paul Peschisolido took the reigns, with Gary Rowett as his assistant. Peschisolido helped Burton establish themselves as a Football League club in his first two seasons. But unfortunately suffered a wretched winless run in his third season, which cost him his job. Rowett was in caretaker charge and kept Burton in the league. Which was enough for him to be offered the job full-time.

Rowett then took Burton to the League Two play-offs in two consecutive seasons. With Bradford City beating Burton in 2012/13. The club bounced back from that heartache, and made it to Wembley in the 2013/14 play-off final after beating Southend, but lost the final 1-0 against Fleetwood. Rowett left for Birmingham City early in the 2014/15 season. With Burton giving Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink the job. He tweaked the squad about a little bit, and they went on to become League Two champions that season.

Hasselbaink gave Burton a brilliant start in League One but left in December 2015 for Queens Park Rangers. Nigel Clough then made a romantic return to Burton Albion and helped the team secure back to back promotions to become a Championship club. A huge achievement for a club who were seen as one of the smallest in League One, and with crowds of around 3500.

Against the odds, Burton Albion survived the first season in the Championship. With the smallest crowds, smallest budget, and smallest stadium. The first season was unchartered territory for the Brewers. With Burton welcoming huge clubs to the Pirelli Stadium and playing in big stadiums on a regular basis away. Now they are trying to replicate that success for another season. With the bonus of a trip down memory lane in the cup tie at Old Trafford.

The Manager

Nigel Clough is here for a second spell, having left in January 2009, and returned in December 2015. Managing Derby County and Sheffield United in that time. It was a stable appointment, which happened only days after Jimmy Floyd left for QPR. With Nigel already knowing the club, the chairman, and the expectations for our small club. And it’s proved to be a successful appointment so far. He’s doing a great job, operating with such a tiny budget compared to the rest of the Championship.

Yet having an eye for a good deal under the clubs budget. Clough picks out great characters who have a decent work ethic and fit into our approach. With our loan signings, in particular, is key in our survival last season. Fans were worried the links with Nigel Clough and the Nottingham Forest job would unsettle the team in January 2017, with him having had talks, then turning the job down. But our results if anything picked up after that. With us only losing five games for the remainder of the season. And doing just enough to survive against the odds.

Players To Watch

Luke Murphy, a loanee from Leeds United for the season is key for Burton. With his ability to break up play and pick out a pinpoint pass being important. John Brayford is also an excellent signing for us, he had a successful loan spell last season which got made permanent on deadline day this year. But he’s going to be cup-tied after playing the first round of the Carabao Cup for Sheffield United earlier this season. Jamie Allen and Matty Lund who both signed from Rochdale this season are looking like decent central midfielders too, stepping up from League One.

Whilst Marvin Sordell when he is on his game can contribute a lot to the side. Burton have put mixed teams out in the earlier rounds, giving fringe players and youngsters a chance. With teenager Ben Fox, who scored in the previous round now on a month-long loan at Solihull Moors. But Clough did say he was going to put his strongest team out at Old Trafford as soon as the draw was made. Whether he does with a Saturday game against QPR straight after, we’ll see.

Predicted Starting XI

Written by Adam Drew

copyright: JW