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Jan 29, 2022 at 3pm UK
LincolnLincoln City
Burton AlbionBurton Albion
Marquis (49')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Powell (56'), Hughes (80')
Oshilaja (19'), Kokolo (51')

Preview: Lincoln City vs. Burton Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Lincoln City vs. Burton Albion - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between Lincoln City and Burton Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Separated by five points and as many places in the League One pecking order, 16th-placed Lincoln City host fellow mid-table side Burton Albion at Sincil Bank on Saturday.

Though the Imps won and Albion lost on their respective last league outings, it is the visitors who have the upper hand in the table after a positive start to the year.

Match preview

With desperation growing to get points on the board as they aim to push away from the relegation zone, Lincoln were delighted to steal away from Home Park with all three points last weekend, after Max Melbourne's stoppage-time winner earned them a 2-1 win at promotion-chasing Plymouth.

Though there are still just four points separating Michael Appleton's side from the dreaded dotted line, a run of three wins from their last four - also featuring victories over high-fliers Sunderland and Oxford United - means that confidence in the camp is growing.

Following a fast start to 2022, Appleton has been busy in the transfer market during recent days and will want to make the most of home advantage when his squad return to Lincolnshire soil this week.

However, the Imps hold the second-worst record as hosts in League One, having won just three of 13 matches at their historic home venue to date - scoring at a rate of less than one goal per game in the process.

Having effectively beaten Burton 6-1 across their two meetings last term, before also winning September's reverse fixture in Staffordshire, they will nonetheless fancy their chances against another side which has found some fine form this month.

Approaching their Tuesday night fixture on the back of a four-match unbeaten run which started on New Year's Day, 11th-placed Burton found themselves overpowered and outplayed by their visitors, MK Dons.

Their 1-0 home defeat to Liam Manning's promotion contenders provides a first setback since the turn of the year, but the Brewers still sit inside the top half of the table.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has seen his side overcome both Crewe and Gillingham in recent weeks, as they took advantage of an easier run of fixtures to consolidate their position of relative safety, but a margin of just nine points between them and the bottom four remains a reason to stay motivated.

Indeed, 10 points shy of the playoff spots, an improbable charge for the top six could still transpire, but to pull off such a feat Burton will have to improve their below-par away form.

With a record of only three wins from their 13 league fixtures on the road this season - and a total of seven defeats - they may head north in hope rather than expectation on Saturday.

Lincoln City League One form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Burton Albion League One form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

Team News

Michael Appleton is busy integrating a number of fresh faces into his Lincoln squad, and recent acquisition John Marquis should start up front after scoring the equaliser at Plymouth last weekend.

Former Reading striker Ben House has signed from Eastleigh and may be involved at some stage, joining fellow January recruits Morgan Whittaker, Liam Cullen, Brooke Norton-Cuffy and Jordan Wright in contention.

Young winger Anthony Scully, who is apparently being tracked by several Championship clubs after registering eight goals and four assists from 19 league games, is expected to start out wide, though defender Adam Jackson is one of a handful of players missing through injury as he recovers from concussion.

Burton, meanwhile, introduced Louis Moult as a late substitute upon his return from COVID-19 in midweek, and the former Motherwell striker could now contend to feature up front with top scorer Daniel Jebbison.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will await news on the fitness of both Ryan Leak (head) and Jonny Smith (hamstring), but a head injury sustained by Sam Hughes in Tuesday's defeat is unlikely to sideline the central defender. He should therefore start in the back three, having recently returned from a long layoff.

Lincoln City possible starting lineup:
Long; Bishop, Melbourne, Poole, Bramall; Whittaker, McGrandles, Fiorini, Scully; Cullen; Marquis

Burton Albion possible starting lineup:
Garratt; Hughes, Brayford, Smith; Hamer, Maddox, Taylor, Powell, Borthwick-Jackson; Jebbison, Ahadme

We say: Lincoln City 1-1 Burton Albion

Neither side is particularly prolific, so given both teams' recent improvements a close-fought but low-scoring draw could be the result when they convene this weekend.

While Lincoln will be targeting maximum points against a fellow mid-table outfit, their mediocre home form and Burton's resilience will see the spoils shared.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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1Rotherham UnitedRotherham29195554183662
2Wigan AthleticWigan26175448252356
3MK Dons30167750331755
5Oxford UnitedOxford Utd30158754361853
6Wycombe WanderersWycombe29157746341252
7Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds29131064132949
8Plymouth ArgylePlymouth28138747351247
9Ipswich TownIpswich301281048381044
10Bolton WanderersBolton29116124238439
11Charlton AthleticCharlton29116123935439
12Burton Albion29116123536-139
14Cambridge UnitedCambridge29910103842-437
15Accrington StanleyAccrington29107123546-1137
16Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury3089132832-433
17Cheltenham TownCheltenham29712103448-1433
18Lincoln CityLincoln2887133338-531
19Fleetwood TownFleetwood29710124350-731
20AFC Wimbledon29612113645-930
22Crewe AlexandraCrewe2957172448-2422
24Doncaster RoversDoncaster3064202258-3622
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