By Gary Fulcher.
Liverpool commence their League Cup campaign – or EFL Cup as it is now known due to the lack of a sponsor – with a trip to Championship side Burton Albion on Tuesday; 7.45pm kick off UK time. This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides, with Burton plying their trade in non-league football from their formation in 1950 to their promotion to the football league following the 2008/09 season as they were crowned champions of the Football Conference.
The Brewers are managed by former Liverpool player Nigel Clough who represented the Reds between 1993 and 1996. In 1998 Clough became player-manager at Burton at the age of 32 and went on to play over 200 times for the Brewers with his last appearance coming against Droyslden in February 2008 as a last minute substitute just shy of his 42nd birthday.
Clough left Burton in January 2009 to manage Derby County before being sacked in September 2013 following a poor run of results. He wasn’t jobless for long however, being named manager of Sheffield Utd in October. He led the Blades to the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 2013/14 and to the semi-finals of the League Cup the following season. Clough re-joined League One outfit Burton as manager in December 2015, replacing Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who led the Brewers to promotion finishing first in League Two in 2014/15. Following Clough’s appointment Burton secured back to back promotions finishing 2nd in League One securing promotion to the Championship for the first time in their history.
The Brewers lost their opening two league games this season in the Championship going down 3-4 at Nottingham Forest and 1-2 at home to Bristol City before defeating Sheffield Wed 3-1 at Pirelli Stadium. Burton secured their place in the second round of the EFL Cup eliminating Bury at home in the first round winning 3-2 after extra time.
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