Nigel Clough's startling claim ahead of Newcastle's visit to Burton

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Nigel Clough says Burton Albion's game against Newcastle United is the "biggest mismatch in the country".

The two clubs meet for the first time at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday.

Burton, beaten 1-0 by Huddersfield Town last night, were promoted to the Championship last season, are 21st in the division.

Newcastle – who take on Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium tonight – are two points behind leaders Brighton and Hove Albion.

Manager Clough said: “It’s probably the biggest mismatch in a league game in the country. Not so many years ago we were playing the likes of Park Avenue and Accrington around this period.

"Newcastle and Villa fixtures are the two glamour games. To think we are playing the likes of them two in our eyes is amazing. We need to try and put similar displays against these teams as we did against Huddersfield. It’s a shame we aren’t going in off some good results.

“It’s certainly the strongest squad we are coming up against. They have the likes of (Aleksandar) Mitrovic and (Dwight) Gayle, (Jonjo) Shelvey in midfield.

“We will play the same way we usually do at home and give them a go. When we play with the energy and enthusiasm, as well as some quality, we can cause teams problems. We know Newcastle can thrash anybody in this league."

On Benitez's decision to join United months after his dismissal at Real Madrid, Clough added: “It’s a decision to be applauded to go to Newcastle when he did. I think he coming in and staying gave everybody at the club a lift and is instrumental to their performances.

“I hope Rafa will join us for a glass of wine after the game and all of his staff. We aren’t sure how we will fit them all in our tiny office.”

Reflecting on the Huddersfield defeat, Clough said: "We don’t have any time to feel sorry for ourselves with the likes of Newcastle and Villa coming up. We’ve only been off it twice out of 21 league games.

“I don’t think there is any point in us sitting back against Newcastle. We hope they recover well for Saturday. We have to play at an intensity to out-play teams in this league. To repeat it every game is going to be hard for anyone to do in England."

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