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Gillingham's weekend opponents Burton Albion head into the league game days after Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham will be hoping reigning Premier League champions Manchester City will have given them a helping hand this weekend.

Opponents Burton played City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup semi-final, first leg.

Albion will now be hosting the Gills in League 1 on Saturday, just three days after their 9-0 thrashing.

Gillingham boss Steve Lovell faces Nigel Clough's Burton Albion this weekend Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham boss Steve Lovell faces Nigel Clough's Burton Albion this weekend Picture: Ady Kerry

“It will be a tough ask for them,” said boss Steve Lovell, whose side had a free midweek following last Saturday’s FA Cup heroics.

“It is a great occasion for them but that was on Wednesday and only three days later they play against us.

“I am sure (manager) Nigel Clough will know what to do and if he needs to rotate his players.”

It will be a reality check for both teams following their cup exploits.

The Gills basked in the limelight after knocking Premier League Cardiff out of the FA Cup while Burton have been making headlines in the League Cup, progressing to the last four after beating higher-league opponents Aston Villa, Burnley, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough.

In the league Albion are ninth, seven points ahead of the Gills, who are just one point off the bottom four.

Lovell said: “We have both produced giant-killings but the league is the bread and butter and it is important we get back to winning ways.

“It is very tight. All you need is a good run of three or four wins and you are back up in the top half pushing for the top end rather than looking at the bottom.

“We had a good run last year and got out of it. We had a little blip in March, which dragged us back in. We know what it is all about and we know that we have to start picking up points sooner rather than later.

“We don’t want to be dragged into that relegation battle but at the moment we are where we are and all we have to do is look forward and try and get out of it.”

Last weekend’s win over Cardiff will give them all the confidence they need.

“The boys will be buzzing,” Lovell said. “The important thing now is to get a result on Saturday. We know we can beat anyone in this league, we’ve done that. It is about putting it together consistently.”

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