JOHNSTONE'S PAINT TROPHY
BURTON ALBION - CHESTERFIELD
Newly promoted Burton have come to terms with life at this level and surprised a lot of people recently, with their attacking intent under new boss Paul Pescisolido, scoring 10 goals in their last four starts. He will be keen to keep the momentum up and is set to name an unchanged squad for tonight's game and will be looking to progress.
Visiting boss John Sheridan will rotate his squad as much as the rules of the competition allow and having firmly targeted a big promotion push this season, would be delighted to see the back of this competition, although he publicly has to say differently.
Sheridan has no history of taking this competition seriously and in the one game where he named a strong starting eleven, when in charge at Oldham last year, almost lost his top striker and best player to a serious injury. I doubt he will go down that route again, especially with the Spirites very dependent on one or two key players.
6 points Burton level ball 2.0 asian line.
NORWICH CITY- BRENTFORD
I have to oppose my beloved Bees here. It is several years since they took the JP Trophy seriously and at present the club can ill afford to pick up any further injuries. Brentford have now become quite an ambitious club, their immediate future is secure for the next five years and they received a not unexpected windfall this week, getting a 15% cut of the Michael Turner transfer to Sunderland, which regardless of what figure you believe, is big money at this level. They will be looking at consolidating their upper mid table position in the league and pushing on in the second half of the season and a run at the playoffs is not out of the question. I know that all involved at the club are pleasantly surprised at how well, the injury hit Bees, who have a number of top players out, match up with the teams they have faced so far and they do not really need the distraction of the "minor" cup's, a policy which served them well last year.
As discussed recently, the two clubs met recently at Griffin Park and whilst the Bees won (of course), Norwich deserved at least a share of the spoils and with the momentum built up under new boss Paul Lambert and infront of their own fans, they will be looking for a little revenge. Lambert was watching that day, although he had not officially taken charge and being quite astute tactically, I am sure he will have seen plenty to work on, sometimes it is easier from the stands to get an overview of the match. Both teams are sure to rotate, but Lambert has far more options at his disposal and I expect his side to win what could be an entertaining encounter.
Oh, btw, Bees have a big televised game with London rivals Charlton on Saturday , this will of course take priority and none of the players will want to miss out. Little inexperience in the centre of the visiting defence tonight and the Canaries will be out to exploit it.
6.5 Norwich -1/2 ball 1.86 ..... a little higher in places.