There’s plenty to play for in League One and Burton could clinch a historic promotion to the Championship with a win at virtually relegated Doncaster. We’ve got the best bets for the match.
Doncaster vs Burton Preview
It’s been a poor season for Doncaster and they’re staring League Two in the face. If Fleetwood lose to bottom club Crewe and Blackpool fail to beat Peterborough, Doncaster have a sniff, but they’ve got to put a few goals past the best defence in the league. It’s a precarious position and even a vehemently positive Doncaster fan would surely be preparing for trips to Crawley and Morecambe.
Darren Ferguson’s side looked like they were producing a great escape with seven points from nine games, but Crewe dealt a huge blow at Gresty Road last week when they ran out 3-1 winners. The Railwaymen capitalised on Doncaster’s fragile backline and individual errors allowed the divisions poorest side to take all three points.
The statistics don’t lie – Doncaster have only managed 48 goals in 45 games, which is marginally better than Blackpool, Oldham and Crewe, but fewer than already relegated Colchester and goal-shy Fleetwood. At the other end, they have the 8th worst defence in the league, conceding 64 goals across the season.
But, just two wins in 20 games is the worst statistic of all. A dreadful losing run which came to an end at home to Wigan recently had been ongoing since 2015 and Darren Ferguson struggled to halt the downward spiral. Ferguson kept his position, which is admirable from the Doncaster hierarchy, in this age of hiring and firing, they could have pushed the panic button. They didn’t. Perhaps, they thought they had the right man, but look at the effect John Sheridan had at Oldham.
Andy Williams has got into double figures this season, but he has struggled for consistency throughout the season and not helped by a lack of service at times. There’s a lot of young players in the squad (Harry Middleton, Mitchell Lund, Liam Mandeville etc) who will learn lessons from this season, but there’s plenty of experience to boot. The likes of Richard Chaplow, James Coppinger and Andy Butler know these divisions and if they stay at the club, they should have a very positive influence next season.
The losing run has killed them this season and with the recent resurgence of clubs like Oldham and Shrewsbury’s knack of picking up points on the road, they’ve just fallen into the dangerzone at the wrong time of the season and this is going to be very difficult for the South Yorkshire side.
Whilst the home side will want to forget this season, Burton will be hoping to burn the DVD. They currently sit 2nd and an injury time winner from Tom Naylor last weekend puts them in pole position going into the final set of fixtures. Nigel Clough said he would have taken a point in a difficult looking fixture with Gillingham last week, but he was delighted with all three. It means that Burton would have to slip up here and Walsall beat neighbours Port Vale with a three goal swing to stop the Brewers being promoted automatically. It’s an unlikely situation, but this is football…
Burton’s season has been built on very solid foundations. These were set by Gary Rowett, improved by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and continued by Nigel Clough. They are hard to beat, with just 37 goals conceded in 45 league matches and the best backline in the league. They don’t score as many as the likes of Wigan, Peterborough, Millwall or even Chesterfield, but they have netted crucial goals at important times and have a penchant for a 1-0 scoreline.
They had an uncharacteristic defensive collapse when these sides drew 3-3 earlier in the season. A similar scoreline here would provide plenty of entertainment in the sun and it would be enough to propel Burton into the second tier for the first time in their history.
Championship football at the Pirelli would have been inconceivable as recently as 2011, but they’ve shot through the leagues and its testament to the way the club is run and sensible managerial appointments. They may be a small fish in a big pond next season with the likes of Aston Villa and one of Newcastle/Sunderland playing in the same division, but they thoroughly deserve their place in the 2nd tier (if/when they make it)
Doncaster vs Burton Team News
- Gary McSheffrey on loan from play-off chasing Scunthorpe missed out against Crewe with an injury and may be absent once again. The nomadic Nathan Tyson is likely to take his place in the side. Mitchell Lund is also a doubt.
- Aaron Taylor Sinclair and Cameron Stewart will be pushing for starts after coming off the bench against Crewe.
- Defender Tom Flanagan is definitely out with a groin injury for Burton. He joins loanee Mason Bennett on the sidelines.
- Two players carrying slight injuries are Stuart Beavon and Callum Reilly, but both could start here on the final game of the regulation season.
Doncaster vs Burton Predictions
Doncaster have been difficult to beat here of late, but if there is one team who can take all three points back from the Keepmoat, it is a determined Burton side. That defeat at Crewe dented any hopes of a great escape and the players may be feeling a little deflated as a result. My first Doncaster v Burton betting tip is for Burton to win.
Both teams have scored in just one of Burton’s last seven away games and I fancy it to stay that way. Without McSheffrey, Doncaster perhaps lack a cutting edge. They’re always capable of scoring from a set piece, but Burton are very sturdy at the back. My second Doncaster v Burton prediction is for Both Teams to Score? No. It can be backed at 10/11 with William Hill.
The goals have been provided by Lucas Akins of late. He has four in his last two games and I fancy him to continue his decent form. My third football prediction for Doncaster vs Burton betting tip is for Lucas Akins to score anytime.
Doncaster v Burton Betting Tips
Burton win – 19/20 William Hill.
Lucas Akins – Anytime Goalscorer – 2/1 Bet365.
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