Off To Ell
23rd February 2008
After a ten day break it's back to action this weekend as Crewe travel to Leeds United.
Leeds have, surprisingly, failed to win since our last meeting in mid-January. Defeats at home to Doncaster and Tranmere, and away to Southend, have seen them pegged back in the promotion race. Only draws against Forest, Northampton and Luton have kept them within touching distance of the play-offs - they sit 9th and three points off 6th place Walsall.
They have also had a change of manager since their 1-0 win at Gresty Road. The vastly over rated Dennis Wise quit Yorkshire for an 'executive position' at the vastly over rated Newcastle United. In Wise's place they appointed the promising Gary McAllister, who did ok at Coventry before taking time out of the game due to personal reasons.
McAllister hasn't quite had the honeymoon period most managers get either. He's managed just three draws and a defeat (against Tranmere) in his opening games, he more than anyone will be wanting three points on Saturday.
The Alex go into it on the back of two decent wins. A 2-2 draw at home to Swansea City was followed by a 1-0 win at Leyton Orient, both giving the squad some confidence going into a tough few weeks.
With the return of Kenny Lunt this week, most Alex fans will be hopeful that we can upset the odds here.
Steve Holland told the official site that he's looking to cause an upset as Leeds fans eye an easy three points.
He told the Official Site: 'They have a terrific support and having gates like that gives them a chance of going again and getting back up there. The mind-set of the home fans will be that they will expect to see Leeds beat Crewe tomorrow, but we have had two decent result and two good performances, so we go there with renewed confidence.'
Leeds United Team News:
The league's top scorer Jermaine Beckford is having to serve a one match suspension for five yellow cards and won't play tomorrow.
Both Andy Hughes and Jonathan Douglas are out with long term injuries.
Neil Kilkenny returns after an ankle injury.
Player to watch: Anthony Elding
A former target; if he plays he's bound to score.
Crewe Alexandra Team News:
Kenny Lunt is in line for a instant return to the Crewe line up following his loan signing this week. Lunt will replace Ben Rix, who is now out for the season after a hip operation.
Julien Baudet and Byron Moore have both been given the ok after training this week.
Nicky Maynard has a 'sore foot' but should be fit to play.
Player to watch: Kenny Lunt
Will the little magician live up to the hype?
Match Facts & Stats
Gary Roberts (the original) is one yellow card from suspension.
The two sides have equal records against each other in all five league meetings between the two with two wins a piece and a draw.
M S PIKE Assistants: G Beswick and S Castle Fourth Official: G Atkins
Leeds 1-1 Crewe
Carlisle (H), Tuesday 26th February 2008.