Burton Albion finished 15th in League One last season, with 56 points following 15 wins, 11 draws and 20 losses. They currently sit in 20th place in the league, two places and one point ahead of Reading, having seen one win, three draws and five losses so far. Their away form has been stronger than their home so far this season, having picked up four of their six points on the road.
This is Burton Albion’s sixth straight season in the third tier, having been relegated from the Championship after a two-season stay back in 2017/18. It was this season that the Royals last faced the Brewers, when Burton beat Reading 1-2 at the Madejski Stadium before Reading returned the favour with a 1-3 away win after two goals from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and a rare goal from right-back Chris Gunter.
Dino Maamria: Maamria took over as Burton manager in September 2022, following Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s resignation, stepping up from his role as assistant manager at the club. The Tunisian had a 20-year spell as a player, where he played as a striker, representing the likes of Doncaster Rovers, Leigh RMI and Stevenage Borough.
Maamria gained coaching experience while playing and started the process when at Burnley, supporting coaching within their academy. He gained his first managerial experience at Northwich Victoria, before then taking up a coaching role at Stevenage. He followed manager Graham Westley to Preston North End and Newport County before then making the move back into management with Southport.
He then had spells in charge of Nuneaton Town, Stevenage and Oldham Athletic before joining Burton as Hasselbaink’s assistant in 2021. Maamria has guided Burton to 16th- and 15th-place finishes in League One and is no stranger to a relegation battle, as he is well versed in helping clubs escape trouble at the bottom end of the table.
It was a busy summer in Burton with 13 players joining the Brewers and 14 leaving the Pirelli Stadium. Key outgoings included goalkeeper Craig MacGillvray, defender Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, former Reading academy player Conor Shaughnessy, striker Lewis Moult and former Chelsea academy defender Michael Mancienne, who has retired.
Key incomings this summer included forward Mason Bennett, who joined following his release from Millwall, central midfielder Rekeem Harper who was previously at Ipswich, goalkeeper Jamal Blackman who joined from Exeter City and forward Cole Stockton, who was Morecambe’s top scorer last season. They have also signed two players on loan, with winger Kwadwo Baah joining from Watford and left-back Steve Seddon joining from Oxford United.
Captain John Brayford, defender Jasper Moon and forward Cole Stockton will all miss out on Saturday’s game through injury.
Crocombe, Hamer, Hughes, Sweeney, Seddon, Powell, Baah, Helm, Oshilaja, Carayol, Bennett
Mason Bennett: Forward Bennett joined Burton on a free transfer following the end of his contract at Millwall. He started his career in Derby County’s academy and became the youngest-ever player to play for the club when he made his debut at the age of 15 back in 2011. He went on to make 89 appearances for The Rams and also became their youngest-ever goalscorer.
While at Derby, Bennett also had loan spells with Chesterfield, Bradford City, Burton, Notts County and Millwall. He went on to join Millwall permanently after a successful loan spell at the club. He spent three full seasons at the Lions, making 103 appearances and scoring 10 goals.
He has also represented England at under-16, under-17 and under-19 level. The 27-year-old can play on the wing, in the number 10 role or as a striker. Bennett likes to run at defenders and is a strong set-piece taker.
One to watch
Kwadwo Baah: Forward Baah joined Burton on a season-long loan from Championship side Watford this summer. He started his youth career at Crystal Palace but was released by the club when he was 14.
He made his professional debut at non-league side Whyteleafe, before then joining Rochdale. Baah made 44 appearances for Dale, scoring three goals, before then signing for Watford in 2021. He is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Hornets but did spend last season on loan with German side Fortuna Dusseldorf.
He has joined Burton this season in the hope of finding regular playing time. The German-born forward has represented England at under-18 level and Germany at under-19 level. Baah is a tricky winger who loves to dribble with the ball and draw fouls from the opposition.