Defenders Paul Boertien and Richard Jackson could come back into the reckoning for Burton when local rivals Crewe visit the Pirelli Stadium.

Boertien has missed the last four matches with a dead leg while a calf complaint has sidelined Jackson since mid-January. Both players are not yet fully fit and are likely to undergo fitness tests ahead of the game on Friday evening.

Club captain Darren Stride is still waiting to see a specialist about the groin injury that kept the centre-half on the sidelines so far this year.

Midfielder Michael Simpson is still struggling with a stress fracture in his foot and is at least three weeks away from a return.

A five-game unbeaten run has moved Albion within touching distance of the play-off places but boss Paul Peschisolido is doing his best to calm expectations.

"I think it's premature to be talking about that," said the Canadian. "I've talked about our objective being to stay in the Football League and I think we're on track for that."

Crewe will make late decisions on the fitness of Clayton Donaldson and Steven Schumacher before making the short trip.

Donaldson is the greater cause for concern with the striker nursing an ankle injury while midfielder Schumacher, who has a back problem, is expected to be fit to captain the side again in the absence of defender Mat Mitchel-King (ankle).

Should Donaldson miss out, it will leave caretaker boss Dario Gradi short of attacking options as leading scorer Calvin Zola is sidelined after suffering a hamstring strain in last weekend`s defeat at Rochdale.

Matt Tootle will be rested, so a defensive reshuffle will see either Carl Martin or Ashley Westwood fill in at left-back.

Midfielder James Bailey could be included in the squad for the first time since mid-November after recovering from a stomach muscle problem.

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Topics:
#Crewe Alexandra
#Ashley Westwood
#Michael Simpson
#Richard Jackson
#Ashley Westwood
#James Bailey
#Clayton Donaldson
#Paul Boertien
#Paul Peschisolido
#Calvin Zola
#Darren Stride
#Matt Tootle
#Burton Albion
#League Two
#Rochdale
#Steven Schumacher
#Ashley Westwood
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