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Burton Albion v Wigan Athletic: The top two collide

19 April 2016

The battle for the Sky Bet League 1 title is well and truly on, and Matchday 43 has thrown up a heavyweight clash between the top two contenders.

Burton Albion led the way for much of the 2015/16 campaign but have recently surrendered top spot to Wigan Athletic, who hit the summit following a remarkable 20-match unbeaten streak.

That came to an end with defeat at Doncaster Rovers last time out, while the Brewers have stuttered of late by going five matches without a win.

Last five fixtures

Burton: DLDLD
Wigan: WWWWL

Star turns

Both these two sides have been guided to the top by men who plied their trade for the club as players.

Gary Caldwell took his first step into management at the back-end of the 2014/15 season with the Latics' Sky Bet Championship fate all but sealed.

Since then, the former club captain has steered Wigan back on the right path, putting them on the verge of a return to English football's second tier at the first time of asking.

Nigel Clough played and managed Burton through their glorious rise from non-league, taking the club to the brink of The Football League before departing for Derby County. 

After a four-year stay with the Rams and a spell with Sheffield United, Clough returned to the Pirelli Stadium after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink left his post for Queens Park Rangers back in December.

Third time lucky?

The two clubs have only met twice in their history, with Burton coming out on top on both occasions.

In 2014, the Brewers eliminated Wigan from the Capital One Cup with a 2-1 win, and a Nasser El-Khayati goal earned victory at the DW Stadium in the reverse fixture this season.

And don't forget...

...Walsall.

The Saddlers are just three points behind Burton with a game in hand and a superior goal difference.

Rejuvenated under Jon Whitney, five wins from their last seven has seen them return to the automatic promotion fold, and they host Swindon Town on Matchday 43.

Read more: Sky Bet League 1 - Matchday 43 preview

Don't miss it!

You can follow all the midweek Sky Bet League1 action with our divisional Twitter feed – @SkyBetLeague1.

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