Saturday, 16 July 2016

Burton Albion vs Stoke City Club Friendly Match Preview And Prediction - July 16, 2016

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Burton have enjoyed a whirlwind rise to England’s Second tier over the past few years. A series of good managerial appointments has perhaps been the secret of their success with Gary Rowett and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink both doing excellent jobs at the East Midlands club while the returning Nigel Clough continued their good work and secured promotion to the Championship on the final day in May. Burton were unbeaten during their final 5 games of last season and won their first pre-season friendly last week when they beat Leek Town 2-0 away.

Clearly this will be a tougher test against Premier League opposition. Stoke make the short trip to Burton with optimism about their chances in the coming season and new arrivals likely soon. They tailed off somewhat at the backend of last year but Mark Hughes’ side possess plenty of quality although some of their main stars will be absent here. They had many players at Euro 2016 who won’t feature here and will join up with the squad at a later date.

With the visitors missing so many key players and also a bit short of fitness they could come unstuck here. Many Premier League sides have opted for an easier first friendly than a game against Championship opposition so Mark Hughes has really thrown down a challenge to his players. It’ll a pretty unfamiliar line-up, certainly after some changes have been made at half-time or in the second half. Burton are a club on the up and they’ll be really up for this game and there should be a buzz about the Pirelli as this is their first outing there since clinching promotion.

Therefore the ingredients are in place for a shock and you can back Double Chance – Burton Albion or Draw at Evens.

The sides drew 0-0 in a friendly two summers ago.

Burton are unbeaten in their last 6 matches. Stoke won just 1 of their final 7 games last term.

Nigel Clough is set to repeat what he did in the friendly win at Leek by making 11 changes at the break with the stronger line-up more likely in the first half.

Jack Butland returns from injury for Stoke, who will be without some of their Euro 2016 stars such as Shaqiri.

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