Crawley v Burton preview

Date published: Friday 9th December 2011 12:14

Pablo Mills could return to the Crawley starting line-up.

The defender and Town skipper was rested on the bench for last weekend’s 5-0 FA Cup thumping of non-league minnows Redbridge, with Kyle McFadzean and Claude Davis starting at centre-half and midfielder Josh Simpson taking the armband.

Boss Steve Evans has a fully-fit squad at his disposal after striker John Akinde returned as a substitute on Saturday following an illness.

Akinde is likely to be on the bench again with Tyrone Barnett continuing his strike partnership with hat-trick hero Matt Tubbs. The in-form duo have now scored 24 goals between them this season.

Scott Neilson, Michael Doughty and Hope Akpan are pushing for starts should Evans opt to make changes.

Meanwhile, leading scorer Billy Kee is an injury concern for Burton.

The in-form striker is rated doubtful because of a persistent groin problem. He was sent for a scan after complaining of discomfort and it revealed the injury may be more serious than a strain.

The Northern Ireland Under-21 international, who has scored 11 goals in 10 starts since his £20,000 move from Torquay in August, has been hampered by the injury for around a month.

The probable absence of Kee could result in a change of formation, with Calvin Zola operating as a lone striker, as the game looks like coming too soon for Justin Richards (back) despite his return to training. With Greg Pearson out on loan at Aldershot, Zola is Burton’s only fully-fit striker as Adi Yussuf still has an ankle ligament injury.

On a positive note for Albion, Adam Bolder has benefited from the club being without a fixture last weekend as a result of their FA Cup first-round exit. The midfielder limped off with an ankle injury against AFC Wimbledon 13 days ago, but has had time to recover and is expected to return to contention.

Paul Peschisolido’s squad will also be boosted by the return from suspension of defender Ryan Austin and skipper John McGrath.

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