BURTON Albion are preparing for their third game in six days as they take on Blackburn Rovers on Friday night in a crucial match in the fight for Championship survival.The Brewers and Rovers played out an exciting 2-2 draw at Ewood Park in August, with Blackburn bottom of the league at the time. The draw was the Brewers’ second game in a five-match unbeaten run, which contained wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Derby. Nigel Clough’s side come into Friday’s clash in a similar run of form, having won three of their last six games, picking up four points against Norwich and Derby County.
Blackburn have also had an upturn in form, but have still won just twice in their last eight Championship appearances, losing three. The Lancashire club go into the game amid uncertain times, having parted company with manager Owen Coyle on Tuesday, just days after Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round defeat to Manchester United.
Blackburn’s strikers have proved crucial in their fight for survival, with Danny Graham (12) and on-loan Southampton forward Sam Gallagher (11), who scored against Burton in August, notching 23 goals between them this campaign.
Burton’s recent good form, along with Wigan’s loss to QPR on Tuesday, has left them five points clear of the relegation zone and they can go eighth points clear of second-bottom Rovers with victory on Friday evening.
On Blackburn, Nigel Clough said: “The squad on paper is very strong. Unfortunately, they have been on the slide for a season or two and a couple of managers have tried to arrest that. I was never sure why they got rid of Gary Bowyer, as they were doing quite well under him.”
James Linington will be the referee on Friday night. The official has handed out 97 yellow cards, three of which have led to dismissals. He has produced no straight red cards in his 18 Championship games this season, but has awarded seven penalties.
This is the first time that the 2010 League Two play-off final referee will have officiated at the Pirelli Stadium this season. Keith Stroud will be the fourth official Stroud was in charge when Burton beat Wolverhampton Wanderers at home at the start of February.
Tickets are still on sale over the phone, online or in the club shop. Prices are as follows:
Adult - £24.00
Senior (65+) - £22.00
Young Person - £22.00
Under 17 - £14.00
Under 13 - £14.00
Adult - £20.00
Senior - £18.00
Young Person - £15.00
Under 17 - £7.00
Under 13 – £7.00
Supporters should be reminded that the pre-match activity sessions with the Burton Albion Community Trust on the 3G pitch do not run during night matches at the Pirelli Stadium.
The next activity sessions will take place on the 3G pitch on Saturday 11 March when the Brewers take on Nottingham Forest.