A combination of international football, injuries, jet lag, number of games, and quality of opposition, could see Nigel Clough play a weakened team against Newcastle United.
Whilst Burton and Clough are looking forward to be playing at St James Park in front of fifty thousand people, the simple fact is that this visit to top of the table Newcastle United has come at a really bad time,
The Burton boss says that the big priority is that he doesn’t lose players for the rest of the season by risking them against Newcastle.
After visiting Newcastle, starting on Saturday Burton have three key matches that Nigel Clough will see as far more likely to generate points than playing Rafa’s team away from home.
Burton have accumulated 17 points from 20 games on their travels but 27 from 19 at home, they have Villa on Saturday on home turf and then Ipswich as well on the following Friday, before an away game at struggling Birmingham on the Monday. Three matches only nine days apart that could decide their season.
It was a brilliant win for Burton at Huddersfield but Clough now has four players carrying knocks, as well as one with possible jet lag and two others tired after international commitments.
With a small squad and so many players who could be at risk of injury if he plays them on Wednesday, it is all looking positive for Newcastle United.
If Nigel Clough changes half of his team for this one then I would love to hear what David Wagner will have to say about it!
“John Brayford, Kyle McFadzean and Tom Flanagan took knocks on Saturday, Lucas Akins picked up one in training yesterday.
“We will still have to see how Jackson Irvine is in terms of jet lag. We still need to keep an eye on him.
“As good as international football is, Cauley Woodrow and Lasse Vigen Christensen are also tired and it’s a nightmare for club managers. They have trained and played instead of resting and I think you saw that on Saturday.
“We have Aston Villa two days later so it’s whether you deal with Newcastle in isolation or you have one eye on Saturday.
“But the fact that we have a largely fully fit squad is credit to the work the players have done stretching right back to pre-season and the work we do on a daily basis.
“Even if we aren’t as good as some teams we can be as fit and more committed.
“It’s important we don’t lose anybody between now and the end of the season.
“The Huddersfield win also gave us that little more belief that despite some tough away games we can get results on the road.”