Burton v Derby - Friday 19:45, Sky Sports 1
Nigel Clough was quick to shift the focus on to this game following Tuesday’s EFL Cup hiding at home to Liverpool. The Burton boss admitted he feared the worst when he saw Liverpool’s result at Burnley last weekend and wasn’t at all surprised by Jurgen Klopp’s reaction, fielding a full-strength side to run out 5-0 winners at the Pirelli.
In many ways, though, this is a bigger game for the Brewers. Not only is it a local derby, but it’s a local derby on equal terms. And for Clough, it’s a first opportunity to lock horns with his former employers who benefited from his steadying influence between 2009 and 2013 only to push him out as soon as the money arrived.
Clough insists this game will be “nothing personal” but in playing the situation down, he somehow manages to make it sound like more of a threat. Burton are playing well, they top the table for goals scored and no team has had more shots, whereas Derby are sitting on a negative shot ratio, so odds of 13/5 about the home win are more than acceptable.
Nigel Pearson is having similar problems to Paul Clement at the start of last season, trying to drag the team out of their 4-3-3 comfort zone. The Rams are playing 4-1-4-1 or 4-4-1-1 depending on the opposition but don’t look entirely comfortable and this could actually get quite messy. Split a point between the Burton 2-0 and Burton 3-0 correct scores at 18/1 and 50/1 respectively.