Our preview ahead of Saturday's trip to Crawley
Sky Bet League One
Checkatrade.com stadium, Winfield Way, Crawley RH11 9RX
Weather forecast: 7°c, strong winds and showers.
Referee: Iain Williamson
A trip around the M25 is up next for Boro as the battle for safety continues. Crawley have brought in pitch covers as a way of trying to make sure the game goes ahead after two postponements this month already.
Last time we met:
After a 3-0 win over Crewe back in October, Boro won their second game within a week back after a 2-0 victory over Crawley at home. In truth the score-line was somewhat flattering, as Crawley dominated the ball and had plenty of chances, but goals from Peter Hartley and Michael Doughty sent the Boro faithful home happy.
Boro got up and running after only 8 minutes when Peter Hartley connected to a Greg Tansey corner but the home fans were made to sweat for the majority of the game as the score line stayed at 1-0 for over 80 minutes . It wasn’t until the 90th minute that Stevenage wrapped up the points as Doughty burst into space from the edge of the box and secured the win with his first goal of the season.
Steve Arnold is the only Boro player out with injury as Parrett and Doughty have both fully recovered from their recent knocks.
Dannie Bulman will miss the game for Crawley - he’s been side-lined with a fractured cheekbone for the past month but should be back in training early February.
View from the dressing room:
Crawley manager, John Gregory praised Boro when speaking in his pre-match press conference.
“Stevenage have beaten some good sides this season including Peterborough, Brentford, Orient and Doncaster. They have the ability to beat the better teams and are fighting for their lives. They are a big, athletic side and we will have to cope with it.”
Meanwhile Graham Westley was bullish when talking about what he saw on the training ground Thursday morning.
"Some of the football I've seen out there this morning is some of the best I've seen since being back at the club."
You can get great odds on Boro to win at the weekend – 16/5 with Sky Bet.
As always, Zoko is the favourite to score first for Stevenage – just 13/2.
Sign up to Sky Bet through any of the attached links and earn yourself a free £5 bet along with helping the club earn extra revenue.
Although currently placed in mid-table, Crawley will be eager to continue picking up points as they’re only 5 points ahead of the relegation zone. Due to postponements Crawley have only played two league games in January, but a point apiece on the road at Coventry and Rotherham show great character from the team.
The vital statistics:
Crawley haven’t found the net as often as they’d have liked this season – the team are ranked 19th in the league for goal scoring, and their top scorers are joint on only 5 goals. However, the team’s defence have kept them in games and are ranked joint 7th for goals conceded.
Crawley are on a high after signing club hero, Matt Tubbs on loan from Bournemouth. Tubbs is one of Crawley’s most prolific goal scorers of all time and the Reds will be hoping he’ll add some much needed goals to the attack.
Tubbs was supposed to be on loan at Rotherham until the end of January although a lack of form meant the deal was cut short. Crawley and Tubbs made them regret that decision as in his first game back for the club he scored against the Millers to give his team the lead!
Reds boss John Gregory said that his decision to keep Tubbs until the end of the season was a result of him being convinced by Tubbs’ “hunger”.