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Match Previews

Play-Off preview: Burton Albion v Southend United

10 May 2014

The final first leg of the Play-Offs of the Sky Bet Football League takes place on Sunday at midday with Sky Bet League 2 duo Burton Albion and Southend United meeting at the Pirelli Stadium.

The match is live on Sky Sports and official updates will be provided via @SkyBetLeague2 and on the Play-Offs of the Sky Bet Football League blog. Join in the conversation using #PlayOffs.

This will be the second time the two teams have clashed in a week with their final-day meeting in League 2 at Roots Hall ending 1-0 to Southend.

That result saw the Blues move above the Brewers in the standings on goal difference and, therefore, earn home advantage for the second leg. Phil Brown's side are four unbeaten, with only one defeat in their past 11 outings.

The Brewers are winless in three, with a defeat to Chesterfield and a draw with Newport County coming before last weekend's loss to Southend.

Gary Rowett's side have the seventh best home form in the division, collecting 39 points from 23 games at the Pirelli, while Southend possess the seventh best away record, notching 32 points from their 23 outings on the road.

Head-to-Head

Barry Corr scored the only goal of the game in last weekend's meeting between these two and that was Southend's second successive 1-0 victory against the Brewers, with this season's reverse fixture being settled by a last-gasp Freddy Eastwood strike.

That took the Shrimpers' win count in this encounter to three, but Burton have the upper hand with four wins alongside a solitary stalemate.

In the past six clashes between the teams, one side has kept a clean sheet.

In the Media

Southend United goalkeeper Daniel Bentley believes the club's four-season stint in Sky Bet League 2 is too long, and is confident there won't be a fifth.

"This is our year and we're all very confident we can go on and get promotion," the 20-year-old told the Echo. "This club deserves to be in League 1 and we've been playing at this level for too long now.

"With the fans we have we shouldn't be in League 2 and, after a few bites at the cherry, we all think we can go and get promotion this year."

Burton Albion manager Gary Rowett has dismissed any Wembley talk, but would love it for the Brewers to get there.

He told the Burton Mail: "Once you start getting fixated about that prize then you perhaps take your eye off the ball elsewhere.

"I'm no different to anyone else, I would love it - not for me, not for my CV, I don't care about that - but when you've worked with a bunch of players for 46 games that have worked so hard to get where they are, you want it for them."

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Albion defender Ian Sharps, who won the club's Player of the Season award, wants to end his personal Play-Off heartache after losing four times in the end-of-season shoot-out with four different clubs.

He remains confident ahead of the two legs against Southend, despite this season's results in the league.

"I'm sure that Southend will look back at those results and take confidence from them," he said to football-league.co.uk.

"But, when they beat us at our place, it was with the last kick of the game after we'd been the better side with 10 men for 60 minutes. They're a good side and we'll have to match them but I'm confident we can do that."

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