Another away trip is on the horizon for Vale, with a tasty fixture against local rivals Burton Albion in the Staffordshire derby this Saturday.
Our Staffordshire rivals come into this fixture off the back of a home loss to pacesetters Ipswich Town, thanks to former Valiant Marcus Harness.
Vale will be looking to put Tuesday night’s loss to MK Dons behind them this weekend by attempting to grab their first win on the road this campaign.
In this article, we take a look into the Brewers side and what we can expect from them at the weekend.
ONE TO WATCH: John Brayford
Once again it is not an attacker that is one to watch this weekend, instead, it is the Brewers club captain John Brayford, who is the player to keep an eye on.
The defender cleaned up at the end of season awards last term for Burton, winning Players’ Player of the Season, Fans’ Player of the Season, and Player in the Community award.
The 34-year-old started his career off at the Brewers becoming the first graduate of their revamped academy when he turned professional for them in 2006.
Brayford then went on to play for a number of football league clubs, including the likes of Cardiff City, Sheffield United, and Derby County.
But, for the full-back, his heart always belonged in Staffordshire as he is now in his third spell with Burton, with his second being a loan in the 2016-17 season.
That loan move turned permanent in 2017, and from then on Brayford has never looked back, having made over 230 appearances since his return to the Brewers.
Brayford is an integral part of Albion’s side, with his performances being the shining light of a poor campaign in 2021/22,
The full-back is a fans’ favourite at the club, and even enjoyed a fairly prolific goal-scoring season by his standards last campaign, netting six goals, the highest return of his career.
Burton will be hoping his performances continue this term, and they will be happy to have retained his services, with Brayford signing a two-year extension back in June.
THE MAN AT THE HELM: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Everybody knows the man at the helm for Burton Albion.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is currently enjoying his second spell in the Brewers dugout, after also managing them between 2014 and 2015.
We all know Hasselbaink for his goalscoring exploits at the likes of Leeds United, Atletico Madrid and most famously Chelsea.
In his glittering career, the former striker scored nearly 250 goals for 10 teams, including scoring 87 for the Blues.
After an incredible career playing in the sport, the 50-year-old moved to the coaching side of things in 2011 when he became the assistant manager at Nottingham Forest.
However, the next step was to become the leading man like he was in his playing days, and this he did in 2013 becoming manager at Royal Antwerp in Belgium.
After one season in Belgium, he took up a new challenge at Burton, who at that time were in League One, and in his first spell he was incredibly successful securing the fourth-tier title and also guiding the Brewers to the top of League One.
His impressive coaching in Staffordshire led to lots of interest from other clubs, and this is when Hasselbaink decided to make a move by going down south to Queens Park Rangers in December 2015.
Sadly, for the now Burton boss he couldn’t replicate his success in London and was dismissed after 11 months in charge.
A short spell at Northampton Town as manager was next on the agenda for Hasselbaink, but after that ended and a few years passed, it was his time to return to the Burton hot seat in 2021.
His return hasn’t brought the same success as his previous tenure, but after a 17th-placed finish in League One last season, the former Chelsea striker will be hoping his team can push into the top half of the table.
STADIUM: Pirelli Stadium
Built in 2005, the home of Burton is very familiar to the Vale faithful, especially after the FA Cup triumph we achieved there last year.
Replacing the Brewers former ground of Eton Park, the Pirelli was named after an agreement with the tyre company because the ground was built on its former site, and in turn for the land, the naming agreement was reached.
The current stadium is on Princess Way, where their former stadium also sat, and can hold 6,912 people with the majority being standing.
Let’s hope you Valiants’ can enjoy the away end as much as you did last year.
HEAD-TO-HEAD LAST FIVE:
Vale wins: 2
Burton wins: 3
The record between the two Staffordshire-based sides is a close one, but unfortunately, it is Saturday’s hosts that edge it in the last five.
However, in our most recent trip to the Pirelli, we came out on top in the second round of the FA Cup, after two late goals from Dennis Politic turned the tie around ensuring we came away from Burton with the win.