Crewe Alexandra FC
nPower League 1
Saturday 5th January 2012
The Alexandra Stadium, Gresty Road, Crewe, CW2 6EB
Kick Off: 3pm
Weather Forecast: Partly cloudy, 11°c
Referee: D Deadman (Cambridgeshire)
Last time we met:
Stevenage maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they came from two down to draw with 10-man Crewe. The hosts were slipping to their first defeat of the season when Ajay Leitch-Smith scored twice within the first 10 minutes. Luke Freeman pulled one back with a 25-yard effort before former Boro loanee Chuks Aneke was dismissed for the visitors for a two-footed lunge on Anthony Grant. Robin Shroot then fired home on the turn late on to secure a point.
Boro: Day, Gray, Ashton, Roberts, Charles, Akins (Tansey), Grant (Lopez), Dunne, Freeman, Haber, Agyemang (Shroot)
Subs not used: Arnold, Comminges, N’Gala, Risser
Crewe have doubts over goalkeeper Steve Phillips (groin) so Alan Martin could earn a recall. Otherwise the Railwaymen are expected to be unchanged from the win against Carlisle.
Stevenage will be without Patrick Agyemang after the striker came off against Walsall with a hamstring injury so either Marcus Haber could be recalled or on-loan Sam Hoskins could come into the starting eleven.
The Crewe Scout Report
Crewe currently sit two points and two places above Boro in 10th on 39 points although have played a game more.
After a mixed start to their return to League 1 saw four wins, five draws and six defeats from their first 15 games, the Railwaymen are now picking up wins on a more regular basis with five in their last six league fixtures. These wins have come against Crawley (2-0), Preston (3-1), Bury (1-0), Oldham (2-1) and most recently Carlisle (1-0) on New Year’s Day.
Crewe have the sixth best home record in the league this season with seven wins, two draws and three defeats from their 12 games so far, during which time they’ve scored 14 and conceded 10. Their last loss at The Alexandra Stadium was back in late October when they fell to a 1-0 reverse against Yeovil.
Possible Crewe line-up for Saturday (4-2-3-1 formation):
Alan Martin; Matt Tootle, Mark Ellis, Kelvin Mellor, Harry Davis; Luke Murphy, Abdul Osman; Brad Inman, Laurie Dalla Valle, Byron Moore; Mathias Pogba
Subs from: Adam Dugdale, Gregor Robertson, Oliver Turton, Jon Guthrie, Ryan Colclough, Max Clayton, Ajay Leitch-Smith
Strikers Mathias Pogba and Laurie Dalla Valle have been essential to Crewe’s recent good form, scoring nine times between them in their last 10 games alone. 21-year old Pogba currently leads the club’s goal scoring charts with 11 goals in all competitions. The young Frenchmen, who is the brother of former Manchester United midfield Paul Pogba, arrived at Crewe on a two-year deal last summer having scored 15 in 66 games for Wrexham.
However it’s been the arrival of Fulham loanee Dalla Valle that has really kick-started the Railwaymen in recent weeks, with the Finn scoring five goals in 11 appearances including the only goal in their 1-0 win against Carlisle on New Year’s Day. This fixture is set to be his last in a Crewe shirt although boss Steve Davis has yet to decide whether to speak to Fulham about extending his temporary stay.
• The Railwaymen were founded by men who worked for the railway who previously played rugby and cricket in 1877. Their name was taken from an amalgamation of the town's name and the high regard in which they held Alexandra, the Princess of the time, although there is also speculation it could also have been taken from a pub where they held their meetings!
• Famous fans of Crewe apparently include singer Suzi Quatro.
• Footballers who came through the famous youth ranks at Crewe before going on to have successful careers include Danny Murphy, Dean Ashton, Rob Hulse, Dele Adebola and our very own skipper Mark Roberts.
• The referee for this game will be Darren Deadman from Cambridgeshire. The last Boro game he took charge of was the 4-0 home defeat to Swindon earlier this season.
• Anthony Grant’s next yellow card will trigger an automatic one-match suspension. The midfielder has currently received four cautions this season.
• A goal for Mark Roberts will be the skipper’s 25th for the club since joining in 2008.