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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Crewe Alexandra vs Rovers

9 March 2021

Rovers will be looking to make it three wins in a row in Sky Bet League One when they travel to face Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night.

Andy Butler’s side beat Plymouth Argyle 2-1 last time out thanks to goals from Tom Anderson and Omar Bogle at the Keepmoat Stadium. 

 

Crewe’s recent form 

The Railwaymen have won just one of their past six league games stretching back to a 2-0 defeat at Peterborough United in February. They were then beaten on the road at Swindon Town, before earning a big three points at home to Accrington Stanley. 

They looked to have steadied the ship with back-to-back draws against Sunderland and Blackpool, before losing 3-0 at Lincoln City last time out. 

 

The man in charge 

Former Crewe defender David Artell was named as the club’s new manager replacing Steve Davis in January 2017.   

The 40-year-old had a tough first couple of seasons at Gresty Road, before guiding the club to promotion last season. He has done well to establish themselves back in Sky Bet League One so far this season. Overall, Artell has taken charge of 211 Crewe games so far, winning 83, drawing 41 and losing 87, giving him an overall win percentage of 39.3%.  

 

Ones to watch 

Harry Pickering 

After coming through the youth system at Crewe, Pickering made his first-team debut at the end of the 2016/17 campaign and has since gone on to establish himself in the left-back position at the club. He played 43 times last season as the club won promotion from Sky Bet League Two, and quickly adapted to life in the third tier which attracted the attention of club’s at a higher level.  

Having made more than 100 career appearances by the age of 22, Sky Bet Championship side Blackburn Rovers secured his services in the January window, before loaning him back to Crewe for the rest of the season.

 

Charlie Kirk 

Still only 23, Kirk is another product of the Crewe academy and made his first-team debut for the club back in 2016.   

After being handed the No.10 shirt, Kirk was influential in helping the club win promotion to Sky Bet League One last season, and supplied more assists than anyone else in the division. His direct style on the wing has caused plenty of full-backs problems in recent seasons, and he has managed to find the back of the net on six occasions so far in this campaign. 

 

Chris Porter 

A player with a wealth of experience, the 37-year-old began his career with Bury before spells with Oldham Athletic, Motherwell, Derby County and Sheffield United prior to a move to Colchester United in 2015. He averaged better than a goal every three games during his time with the U’s, with his experience proving to be key at Sky Bet League Two level. 

He signed for Crewe in the summer of 2017 and reached double figures in his first three seasons with the club, including finding the back of the net 14 times in their promotion winning campaign.

 

Last time out 

Crewe came out 2-1 winners when the two sides last met in Sky Bet League One back in October. Charlie Kirk gave The Railwaymen the lead in the first-half, before Josh Sims levelled the scores before half-time. Harry Pickering’s free-kick 20 minutes from time secured all three points for the visitors at the Keepmoat Stadium. 

 

 

Watch pre-match interviews

 

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