Crewe Alexandra’s time in Sky Bet League One could be brought to an end this weekend if results do not go their way.
It has been a season of struggle for David Artell’s side, who will arrive at the Eco-Power Stadium sitting 13 points from safety with 15 left to play for.
Artell has called upon his players to demonstrate their determination to survive but it will certainly require a major transformation in form from what they have produced since mid-January.
In their last 15 matches, Alex have won just once – a 2-1 triumph at Cheltenham Town – and lost the rest.
Crewe enjoyed a strong campaign last term as they rode a wave of momentum following promotion from Sky Bet League Two in the shortened 2019/20 season.
But the departure of a string of players who were key to their success last season has been tough to recover from and led to their difficulties this year.
They currently sit bottom of League One on 25 points – five behind Rovers – having won only six matches this term.
They have conceded the joint second most goals this season, alongside Rovers with 76. They have scored the third fewest with 32 – four more than Rovers.
Alex have collected nine clean sheets, but have been shut out by the opposition on 18 occasions.
They have scored twice or more in 11 matches, delivering eight wins and a draw from those games. In contrast, they have conceded three or more goals in 14 games, all of which led to defeat.
A trio of players have contributed the majority of Crewe’s goals this season. Chris Long has netted eight with Mikael Mandron and Chris Porter both scoring six. Tom Lowery has scored three while Oliver Finney is the only other player to have scored more than once. Porter leads the assists charts with four.
There have been 13 meetings between Crewe and Rovers in the last ten years with Alex claiming six wins to Rovers’ four. Crewe have won four of the last six clashes, with Rovers picking up just one win.
The reverse fixture brought a 1-1 draw with Joseph Olowu cancelling out Porter’s opener at the Mornflake Stadium.