After beginning 2024 with a 2-0 home win over Lincoln City in League One, Blackpool earned an FA Cup third-round replay against Nottingham Forest after holding the Premier League outfit to a 2-2 draw at the City Ground on Sunday.
Former Forest man Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel and Albie Morgan both scored within the space of two minutes just before the half-hour mark to put the Tangerines ahead, but the Tricky Trees pulled one back through Nicolas Dominguez on the stroke of half time, before Morgan Gibbs-White netted a sublime 56th-minute equaliser to rescue a replay.
Despite letting a two-goal lead slip, Neil Critchley has taken plenty of positives from the performance, particularly how his side held their own against a team two divisions above them, and the Blackpool boss is already looking forward to a “fantastic replay” at Bloomfield Road next week.
Blackpool, who currently sit eighth in League One and just four points behind the playoffs, have progressed to the third round of the EFL Trophy for the first time in six years after winning all three group-stage matches before beating Barnsley 2-1 on home soil in the second round last month.
The Tangerines, who have won each of their last five home matches in all competitions, will be seeking revenge against Burton on Wednesday following their aforementioned league defeat a fortnight ago, as they endeavour to advance to the quarter-finals of the EFL Trophy for the first time since 2016.
Since beating Blackpool on Boxing Day, Burton have experienced a mixed run of form in League One, as they have won one, lost one and drawn one across their last three fixtures, including a 1-1 draw at home to Wycombe Wanderers last weekend.
Beryly Lubala scored his fifth goal of the season to break the deadlock just before the hour mark, but Wycombe equalised through Sam Vokes 10 minutes later, and both sides were eventually forced to share the spoils at the Pirelli Stadium.
Caretaker manager Gary Mills, who has been in charge of six first-team matches since the dismissal of Dino Maamria last month, sees his Brewers side sitting 17th in the League One table, five points above the relegation zone having played at least one game more than six of the seven teams below them.
Before travelling to Derby County for their next third-tier fixture on January 15, Burton shift their focus to the EFL Trophy, a competition in which they have reached the third round for the second successive year having previously failed to reach this stage in their entire history.
The Brewers won two of their three group-stage games before beating League Two Mansfield Town 2-1 in the second round last month. While their record in this year’s EFL Trophy and their recent win over Blackpool should provide them win confidence heading to Bloomfield Road, success on Wednesday is not a given as they have only won three of their 16 away matches in all tournaments so far this season