Date:Monday March 10 2008
Crewe may not be able to confirm Port Vale's relegation to League Two on Tuesday night but they can make it all but certain. Defeat for Vale would mean they could only finish with a maximum of 48 points come May - some three points off the 51 point safety mark.
The writing has been on the wall for a while though and since the 0-1 win we had at Vale Park they have only managed two league wins; one against Gillingham and one against Millwall. They haven't been out of the relegation zone since, despite two clubs having 10 points deducted.
They are currently on a five game losing streak, conceding thirteen goals over those five games and are truly showing why they are down as the worst League One side this season.
Tuesday night's match is a should win but then we shouldn't take Vale lightly. We know there'll be a slight twinge of rivalry, and after the Alex were Lee Sinnott's part poopers in his first game as Vale manager, he will no doubt be seeking revenge.
With our new attacking options and pace in the side, along with our new found defensive solidness, can Vale really win this one? Unlikely.
Nicky Maynard is back in contention after returning to training over the weekend. The young striker suffered a slight hamstring injury at Northampton last week but seems to have shaken it off quickly.
Both Gary Roberts could return for the game. Roberts mk 1 will return after being disciplined over the weekend and Steve Holland still hopes to extend the loan of Roberts mk 2 from Ipswich.
Julien Baudet is still out.
After poor performances from Eugen Bopp and Byron Moore against Forest, it'll be interesting to see if Holland chops and changes; with loanee Dean Morgan maybe getting his full debut.
The Preston North End loan looked promising on Saturday; his pace, flair and strength down the wing could have Vale in trouble.
Vital Vale have this down as their line up: Anyon(GK), Miller(RB), Pearce(CH), Pilkington(CH), Talbot(LB), Herd(RM), Harsley(CM), Hulbert(CM), Edwards(LM), Richards(CF), Rodgers(CF)
Still with a massive chip on his shoulder about not being better than Luke Varney and Nicky Maynard, Rodgers is now sitting it out on the bench for Port Vale. If he gets off it though he could cause problems with his blatant diving.
Vale have failed to win at Gresty Road in ten years.
Crewe 3-0 Vale
Gillingham, away, March 15th 2008.
Date:Monday March 10 2008
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