Match Preview: Crewe Alexandra vs Notts County
Tonight we host league leaders Notts County at the Alexandra Stadium. They have beaten Chesterfield, Wycombe Wanderers, Port Vale, Morecambe, Swindon Town, Crawley Town, Lincoln City, Exeter City and Barnet (including 6 straight league wins between the Port Vale and Exeter City games). They have also had draws against Accrington Stanley and Forest Green Rovers whilst they have lost to Coventry City on the opening day and Mansfield Town at the end of last month. In the cups, they lost on penalties to Scunthorpe United in the EFL Cup whilst they beat Everton`s U21 side in the EFL Trophy.
During the summer, they have made 11 permanent signings with goalkeepers Ross Fitzsimons and Branislav Pindroch joining from Chelmsford City and Czech side MFK Karvina as well as defenders Daniel Jones, Shaun Brisley, Pierce Bird and former Bolton Wanderers right-back Nicky Hunt. Gibraltarian playmaker Liam Walker has boosted the midfield with Terry Hawkridge, Lewis Alessandra and Elliot Hodge whilst former Crewe forward Callum Saunders signed for the Magpies following his release from Gresty Road.
They have also made 2 loan signings with midfielders Jorge Grant and Ryan Yates both joining from Nottingham Forest on season-long loans.
Crewe Alexandra Team News:
There are no new injury or suspension worries for David Artell ahead of the long trip to the South West with James Jones is back in training and at least a couple of weeks away whilst George Ray is still a couple of months away from returning.
Notts County Team News:
Goalkeeper Adam Collin was forced off during Saturday`s victory over Barnet due to a knee injury and will miss tomorrow night`s game with Fitzsimons set to make his first league start for the visitors.
Last Time Out:
Crewe Alexandra 2-2 Notts County, 14th April 2017
Last season`s corresponding fixture at the Alexandra Stadium saw the second drawn meeting of the season following the 1-1 at Meadow Lane in October last year. Adam Campbell gave the Magpies the lead in the 9th minute following a bad James Jones pass as the forward beat Ben Garratt with a curling effort from the edge of the area whilst Crewe levelled the score on 38 minutes as Callum Cooke played Chris Dagnall through on goal with the experienced striker finishing underneath keeper Adam Collin.
Notts County again tuck the lead 6 minutes after the break as Cooke gave the ball away to Jon Stead who found former Crewe midfielder Michael O`Connor with the former Northern Irish international finding the bottom corner. James Jones would get the second equaliser for the hosts as he volleyed in from 12 yards after Dagnall`s shot looped up into his path midway through the second period.
Crewe: Garratt; Turton, Ray ©, Nugent (Ng 69), Bakayago; Jones, Bingham, Cooke; Dagnall, Bowery, Cooper (Wintle 69)
Looking back through the archives, the 2 clubs have met 33 times with Notts County leading the head-to-head having 21 wins to 13 with 9 draws. The biggest win for Crewe was the 5-1 victory in October 1895 at the Alexandra Stadium whilst Notts County`s biggest win came in February the previous year at Trent Bridge which finished 9-1.
Played for both:
As well as the 3 current players (Matt Tootle and Michael O`Connor are the other 2 that are in the Magpies squad with Saunders), other players that have played for both include Dele Adebola, Thierry Audel, Febian Brandy, Colin Cramb, Jim Gannon, Marcus Haber, Lee Matthews, Vadaine Oliver, Luke Rodgers, Alan Sheenan, Francis Tierney and Andy White.