The news that Sheffield United had postponed Burton Albion's visit to Bramall Lane this weekend will have been a blow to the 20,000-plus spectators planning to attend what would have been an intriguing clash.

Brewers fans would have been hoping for a third win this campaign in south Yorkshire after triumphs at Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley, while those with an allegiance to the Blades would have wanted an 11th home win as they continue to mount an impressive play-off push.

Both managers would surely have liked the game to go ahead for several reasons, but fan safety is paramount and it is understandable why the match has been postponed.

No new date has been set for the fixture at the time of writing, but it is likely to break up what would have otherwise been a full week's training between games on a Saturday.

Chris Wilder's side bounced back from a 1-0 defeat to Hull City on Friday night impressively, with a 3-1 win over Reading on Tuesday.

The inclement weather has stopped his side in their tracks now, and that may just favour the Brewers.

So, with that in mind, how else could the postponement yet benefit Albion’s survival bid?

Mark Duffy slams home Sheffield United's second goal in a 3-1 win at Reading


Clough was keen to document how the poor weather had affected his side's preparations for the match.

Although the Brewers have access to training facilities at St George's Park, like most teams this week they have struggled to get out onto the grass much.

The Blades will have experienced the same issues in preparation - with Leon Clarke and Jamal Blackman among their injured list - but with Albion's physio room getting rather crowded, those who would have otherwise been able to ease themselves back into some light training haven't been able to.

Ben Turner and Tom Flanagan have struggled with calf problems in recent weeks - and their recovery will have been stunted by being confined to indoor pitches which naturally are not as forgiving as grass.

Damien McCrory, who made his return to league action in a Brewers shirt for the first time since August after knee surgery, has also had to keep off the indoor turf, while Liam Boyce will be wary following his ACL injury in the summer.

"When you go indoors, straight away a couple players who have a couple of injuries or whatever can’t train indoors, so you have to lose them because they do something else," Clough said.

The postponement could provide extra time for those players to be ready for when Brentford visit the Pirelli Stadium on Tuesday or further down the line.

With Albion juggling those injury problems, a match off might enable them to field a stronger squad next time out.

Damien McCrory brings down Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle


United defied the odds this season by surging into second place after November's 3-1 win at the Pirelli Stadium.

Despite slipping out of the automatic spots, they have managed to keep hot on the heels of the play-off chasers and hauled themselves back into sixth place at the expense of Bristol City in midweek.

Wilder's efforts in turning United into a force in the second-tier have not gone unnoticed, and his man-management skills after the disappointing loss at the KCOM Stadium earned him plaudits, with public criticism there sparking a winning performance four days later against the Royals.

Back in the top six, United looked back to good form ahead of the Brewers' visit and a potentially huge promotion clash at fifth-placed Fulham on Tuesday.

Burton might have been given a reprieve, then, with two away trips up next for the Blades before the earliest date the match could be re-arranged for.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder


Albion can now turn their attentions toward the next two matches in what is a crucial week in their season.

Back-to-back home games against Brentford and Bristol City - promotion chasers both - represent an important chance to get some points on the board before they face consecutive away fixtures at the current top two, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City.

Although the Brewers would have backed themselves to claim a sixth away win of the campaign in Sheffield, they are now able to focus on the visit of Dean Smith's Brentford on Tuesday and bring a long-awaited end to their home struggles.

Two points out of a possible 39 from their last 13 home matches is a record that clearly needs addressing.

Address it they will now be doing without any immediate preparation needed for the game against the Blades.

Brentford manager Dean Smith
Brentford manager Dean Smith

Two points out of a possible 39 from Albion's home matches since their last win on September 16 is a record that has needed improving for longer than fans care to remember.

Burton can focus on putting this right without the distraction of a game this weekend.


Naturally, this could go one of two ways for Clough's side.

With four of the Championship's bottom seven in action on Saturday - Hull City's visit to Ipswich Town has been called off, as has Barnsley's match against Norwich City - Burton could find themselves with a game in hand over their opponents and still sit within three points of safety if results go their way.

Sam Gallagher
Sam Gallagher

The psychological effect could spur them on in the coming weeks, knowing they have an extra chance to leapfrog their fellow strugglers or even put daylight between themselves and their rivals if things go well before the rescheduled trip to Bramall Lane.

Of course, should the teams around them gain points, Burton may be wishing they had a similar chance to gain ground at the same time.

As any manager will say, you would rather have points on the board than games in hand.